Why Produce And Flowers Placed In The Front Of The Grocery Store

As a consumer, it's easy to forget that the commercial world around us — shopping malls, restaurants, amusement parks, menus and even grocery stores — are meticulously designed with input from experts in psychology to ensure that our brains are manipulated into the thinking and buying patterns that align with profit objectives. Supermarkets usually follow a similar layout pattern, of which each aspect has a specific reason to trigger an outcome in the customer who is browsing the aisles.

Wherever you prefer to buy your groceries – whether at a deli or a mom and pop grocery store or a Whole Foods chain — the entrances to these establishments are often one in the same: a colorful display of blooming flowers, a variety of fresh and seasonal produce, and bakery items. There's no coincidence behind this pattern; It's an intentional psychological move on behalf of the stores. But what is the psychology behind putting produce and flowers at the front of a grocery shop?

Olfactory and visual manipulation

According to National Geographic, the freshness of the produce and the sensory overload of different types of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and baked goods stimulate our senses in a way that makes us more upbeat, and even hungry. Our brains are primed to think that the establishment we are entering is healthy, fresh, natural and appetizing. However, the grand display at the beginning of a grocery run may be more deceiving than natural. That water you sometimes see being sprayed on vegetables? It actually serves no purpose other than to give the illusion of freshness, and can even lead to the produce spoiling faster.

A report from Regained Wellness also discussed the psychology involved in grocery store placement, noting that the smells and colors of fresh produce and flowers greet customers at the fronts of stores to encourage them to shop with their stomachs, rather than their heads.

Keep this in mind the next time you go shopping, stick to your list and don't get distracted by the flowers and fruit upon entering.