Why We Buy What We Buy: Anatomy of a Supermarket Purchase

Presenters:

Emily Snyder is Nutrition Policy Associate at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, where she works on the healthy checkout campaign.

Dr. Deborah Cohen is a Senior Scientist at the RAND Corporation and the author of the book, “A Big Fat Crisis—The Hidden Forces Behind the Obesity Epidemic and How We Can End It.”

Priya Fielding-Singh is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at Stanford University studying food, health, and inequality.

Many shoppers have healthy intentions—for example, they want to lose weight or eat more vegetables—but find it difficult. One reason is that retail marketing affects food choices, often in ways that are hidden or beyond conscious cognition. To promote effective nutrition education and healthy behavior, nutrition educators need to understand the science behind why people buy what they buy. This session will explore the ways supermarkets get shoppers to buy more food and certain products. Presenters will share approaches that empower shoppers to buy food consistent with their intentions, including environmental and policy solutions and personal shopping strategies. The SNEB Public Health Nutrition Division will be sponsoring this event.

Learning Objectives:

1: Participants will be able to discuss the science behind why people buy the food and beverages they buy.

2: Participants will be able to identify at least five ways supermarkets get shoppers to buy more and certain types of food.

3: Participants will be able to describe approaches that empower shoppers to buy food more consistent with their intentions, including environmental and policy solutions as well as personal shopping strategies. 

Handout