Beware of Goodies at the Checkout Lane

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on March 14, 2019 · 1 comment

Wait on any line and you are probably tempted to buy chips, candy, cookies or ice cream. The supermarket is the worst where you are often sandwiched between two opposing counters brimming with treats.

Supermarket checkouts provide a unique opportunity to prompt purchases as all customers pass through them to pay and often spent considerable time waiting. Couple that with pestering children and the likelihood of buying candy, chocolate or chips is pretty good.

A researcher (PLOS Medicine) in England found that when supermarkets make changes in which snacks are displayed at checkout it can lead to better food choices. Once some undesirable items were removed, 17% of shoppers bought less snacks and this simple intervention held over time.

The checkout line offers a revenue stream that many stores are unwilling to give up, but they could be stocked with healthier items like nuts, dried fruits and cereal bars. Consider talking to your store manager or store dietitians about making changes.

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