We all know that supermarkets spend a lot of time and money positioning items in their store, playing just the right music, having just the right lighting and displays, to increase our interest in making purchases, and particularly purchases they want us to make.
Even where things are placed on shelves will influence whether we buy a product or not, the colour of the lighting in the meat department helps us decide if a meat looks good or not. The items right at the registers are there as impulse buys and some stores have realised that we have recognised this and now have registers with no lollies / chocolates etc to tempt us or kids as they go through the checkout.
We are being constantly bombarded by subtle (and not so subtle) suggestions about what to buy and how much.
Deakin University is about to run a new study in partnership with IGA to test whether this can be used to help us eat better.
The stores which are participating will be using posters, decals, signage and banners to promote helath promotion. Staff will be trained in encouraging the purchase of healthy food choices and may even be in specific uniforms to reinforce the message. The stores involved will be in Bendigo and Geelong.
Researcher, Dr Adrian Cameron, said; “Given that most Australian food purchases are made in supermarkets, this work has exceptional potential to improve the healthiness of food purchases and lower the risk of disease at the population level. We tested some of the interventions separately last year in Bendigo, without any promotion, and found they were effective in guiding customers towards healthy choices.”
The National Health and Medical Research Council is funding bthe research with a AUD $550, 000 Partnership grant.