Friday, December 28, 2007

Nutrition and Grocery Shopping

Wired magazine has an excellent graphic about grocery shopping It basically breaks down the layout of an average grocery store and ranks the sections by cost per calorie, calories per 100 grams, and sugar per 100 grams. The only thing missing, in my opinion, is profit per 100 grams so we could see where the money is being made and why the advertising flyers and in-store promotions are structure the way they are. There are a few things we don't know about grocery retailing. When you get the advertising inserts in your local paper the items on the front page are usually there because the store gets volume rebates for moving a specific number of units. That's why the price is so low. Other items sometimes pay to be placed in the flyer. Shelf space and placement is paid for by the food company to increase sales of a product. Store layouts and product placement are not random in grocery stores or any other retail environment. The Wired article also points out the nutritional aspect and basically highlights that shopping the periphery of the store is where you will find the best nutritional value in terms of calories and sugar per 100 grams. Happy shopping and don't get lost in the middle aisles.


Anonymous said...

Great point about not getting lost in the middle aisles of the grovery store. Most guides to healthy eating will recommendthat you do majority of your grocery shopping on the perimeters of the store. This is where you will find the fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein. A large percentage of the items in the middle aisles are processed foods like cookies, chips, and other snack items.

Ivy said...

I really loved this post, I also like the message your blog sends out! Keep up the amazing wotk.

Allie, Dearest said...

That is seriously an awesome set of diagrams. When I go shopping, being vegetarian, I usually only hit the produce section and the beans/rice aisle. The rest of the grocery store has become a landing zone for strange and colorful packaging and high prices that seem so extreme now.

Thanks for linking this, I'm totally going to link it, too!


BBC said...

Really, you spend too much time fussing about all that. For 64 years I've eaten anything I wanted to and I'm still going strong.

You are not alone, let others fuss about those things. It doesn't matter what we eat for the most part, I'm going to die and so are you.

It may be from a war, a car hitting me, a sign or building falling on me, someone that gets ticked at me, any number of things may take me out.

I don't spend a lot of time thinking that it might be food though. But I do make my own biscuits from scratch.

I have bigger things to worry about, like wars, global warming, greed (for all I know you are too needy), things like that.

FeButterfly said...

BBC, I do understand where you are coming from as many people who are older have had different life experiences. Also, food has become much more heavily processed in the last 20 years than it has in the past. I think for people who have more of their lives in front of them need to be more mindful of what they eat and in particular what they feed their children. I believe that the negative aspects of these foods have a cumulative impact on your body over time. Combine the more processed food with a lifestyle that involves much less physical work or exercise and we have serious health problems. You are right in saying that anything can kill you I'd rather die from something I can't control than kill myself by eating poorly.

The Cebuano Geek said...

It will be difficult in organizing shop displays.

There must a optimum size for a grocery shop. Not too small to have a good variety or too large so I could not find what I am looking for.

Kristen's Raw said...

I'm loving your blog. Thanks for having such great information.

Kristen's Raw

Michael.H said...

Nice little article. I mainly stick with fresh veggies, fruits and nuts, fish. My health has drastically improved and I pretty much stay away from the mid sections of the store now. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

I find the things that marketers do in grocery stores so interesting.

It really works too. I see it in my friends, like they will think that to get the 10 for $10 deal they actually have to buy ten of the product, when really you could just buy one for $1.

Haha, yeah it intriques me way too much.

Letters of Thanks to God said...

I never knew that. But when I really think about it, you're right! All of the grocery stores I can visualize are set up that way. Thanks for the helpful info. Melissa

Le Chat Noir said...

Thanks, I really enjoyed this post! If only big corporations would care more about the total well-being of their target markets instead of just their wallets said...

Scientifically speaking, the less someone's income, the more likely he or she WILL shop the middle aisles. We are programmed for our bodies to demand a certain calorie count dating back to our caveman age (I was just a youngster then.) and, when we go to the store, or "hunt" for food, if we can't afford the calorie count we need from fruits and vegetables and such we tend to get them from the cheapest, highest calorie content aisles.

It takes a heck of a lot more celery to give us 1000 calories than it does Twinkies.

Then, let's talk CORN! Farmers are making money hand over fist because of corn. They're abandoning other crops and ruining soil to grow as much corn as they can to make as much money as they can. Who can blame them, right?

Well, we can look to our government! Ethanol may serve to lesson our dependency on foreign oil but corn ethanol is one of the least efficient ways to produce fuel. Adler trees, for instance, are fast growing and pound for pound produce more ethanol that any corn plant ever could.

Why then, don't we plant adler trees, reduce the cost of ALL foods so that more people can eat healthy food? Well, have you ever heard of the "Adler Lobby" in Washington????

So, while we may be tempted to "blame" people for their unhealthy choices, please remember that those choices are hardwired into our brains. IF we'd all take a stand against inefficient practices masquerading as "eco-friendly", perhaps people could AFFORD foods that aren't filled with what? high fructose corn syrup!