Supermarket marketing strategies

Supermarket marketing strategies

Have you ever entered a supermarket and wonder why everything you need is always at the back of the store? And without realizing it, even though you only made a small stop for some milk and bread, you end up leaving with a full trolley? 

This is exactly what supermarket designers are aiming for! The structure and the corridors are designed especially to way to make you spend as much time as possible at the supermarket. If you are a parent then it means more time for your children to convince you buy them their favourite products.


Let’s take a look at the most common supermarket strategies:


  1. Huge trolleys

Have you noticed that supermarket trolleys are getting bigger and bigger? It’s no coincidence, stores are aware that we often use the size of the trolley as an indicator of how much we have spent. How often do you think that the basket is full, so it’s time to leave? Instead of falling into this marketing strategy, use smaller basket for your shopping.


  1. Tempting smells

When you enter a supermarket and smell the freshly baked bread or the grilled chicken, not only you are going to buy these products without planning it, but it is likely that they will increase your appetite and therefore make you buy more food products that were not on the list. 

This is one reason why bakeries are located near the entrance, while meat and fish counters are usually placed at the back of the store.


  1. Milk and dairy

Most supermarkets place dairy products like milk (a section with high demand) at the back of the store to make sure that you pass through all the other corridors.


  1. The Vegas effect

Supermarkets are designed just like the casinos: no clocks and almost no windows, with artificial light, so you lose the sense of time and not knowing how many hours you’ve spent there.


  1. Slow, relaxing music

– Slow relaxing music increases our mood and makes us walk more slowly. The slower we walk, the more chances to notice other products. 

What to do: Wear headphones and listen to your favourite tracks that will inspire you to move faster.


  1. Shelves strategy

The middle shelves are the most popular and expensive place that a company can place their products on. The reason is because these shelves are at eye level where the consumer can see and reach better, which is why they are considered to be the shelves with the highest sales.

What to do: Look low or high to check all products which are usually products from smaller manufacturers that cannot display their products on the middle shelves.


  1. Children products 

As for kids, this same logic exists, the high-sugar breakfast cereals, chocolates,  biscuits and crisps are on the lower shelves so that they are at the children’s level. Children can easily grab them and then beg their parents to buy them.



Eleana Liasidou

Clinical Dietitian- Nutritionist, MSc



INSIDER. (2019). 10 mistakes you’re making when food shopping that are costing you money. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Sep. 2019].

Berkeleywellness. (2019). Smart Supermarket Shopping. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Sep. 2019].Reader’s Digest. (2019). 15 Grocery Shopping Mistakes That Are Wasting Your Money. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Sep. 2019].