When you’re next in your local supermarket look around. Look at the people strolling up and down the aisles.
Are they happy? Are they enjoying their shopping experience? Or are they unhappy? Do they resent being there, having to stock up and spend money?
We asked a couple of hundred people in a nation-wide online survey what they love and hate about their supermarket and here are the highlights of what they told us.
1. Most people enjoy supermarket shopping
Seven out of 10 people either love (22%), or like (49%) supermarket shopping.
Only 16% don’t like it.
2. Supermarket shopping appeals to the hunter in us
The most commonly reported sources of supermarket shopping satisfaction are:
- The sight of food
- New products that capture your attention
- Being able to explore and choose
- Buying things
These sources of satisfaction indicate that supermarket shopping is our modern equivalent of hunting. We take pleasure from finding and then capturing food and other goods in our trolley. We relate to supermarkets as places of exploration and discovery. We love variety and the reward of buying, particularly when it is something ‘special’.
“Choosing your own fruit/veges/meat etc rather than, as in online shopping, having someone else choose for you. Also being able to change what I buy when I am there if there’s something not planned but looks more enticing.”
“I can amble around, enjoy the products, except that means I always end up with things not on my list.”
“To me I treat it like a excuse to get out and grab the bargains.”
3. The best categories stimulate desire
The part of the supermarket that stands out by a country mile as the most preferred category is Fresh Fruit & Vegetables (22%).
This is entirely in keeping with the insight in last month’s article on Sensible Food Shopping. We have a natural and ancient instinct that draws us to the sight of fresh food. Out of 35 categories measured, virtually all of the other favoured categories also play directly to our sense of either fresh or indulgent food pleasure.
Packet foods, and other grocery items simply don’t create the same emotional desire.
4. We don’t like other shoppers
Other people are clearly the main thing that shoppers dislike most about supermarkets. In particular, having to wait in queues at the checkout is the biggest curse. Prices are a relatively minor irritation in comparison.
5. Not a big desire to shop in other ways
Despite recent innovations in shopping formats, the supermarket store is still clearly the most used, and also the way most people would prefer to buy their groceries.
So, there we have it.
Most people pushing trolleys around in your supermarket are having a good time.
But watch out, because they are in a hunting mode, seeking out the pleasure of tantalizing foods to capture and take home with them.
And the thing they hate most about the experience may be you, if you get in their way.