For the longest time, customers have always been enticed into buying food items because it comes from a popular brand. Oftentimes, the brand of a product alone is enough of a selling point for many shoppers. As part of research for his book, Cardello went and checked grocery store displays for products that were considered to be the ‘frontliners.’
Three years ago, Cardello did the same survey and concluded that about a half to two-thirds of the displays were food items rich in calories but poor in nutritional quality. In this recent trip, he wanted to see if the food item displays have been changed for the better.
After surveying supermarkets in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Cardello reported that nothing much has changed. According to his observations, for every 67 food item displays in grocery stores, 59 displays contained food that were not at all nutritious. The items dominant in the displays were either salty snacks, cookies, baked treats or beverages that have high calorie content. Only about 43 percent of the displays featured food items that were low in fat and low in calories.
However, hope is not lost in this situation as more and more initiative is being taken by grocery operators to emphasize more nutritious food items in their displays. For instance, HyVee has introduced its Blue Zone lane, a separate lane offering only products that are proven to be beneficial to one’s health. These products are displayed near the checkout counter and includes displays of granola bars, carrots and string cheese. Similar initiatives are being implemented by other grocery chains in order to provide their customers with food items that are beneficial to health.