A store might discontinue a favorite product or change its layout, but apparently nothing gets shoppers riled up more than their grocery bags changing colors.

Kroger has been phasing in new bright yellow plastic bags in several divisions, replacing its usual understated light brown bags. But many shoppers – who are very, very particular about how they carry their groceries home – aren’t having it.

“Omg… Kroger switched to yellow bags and I’m shook. Not ok with this,” one Twitter user wrote. “I crave stability in my life so Kroger changing their bags from brown to YELLOW is throwing me completely off balance,” added another. “Glad to see I’m not the only person who was irrationally disturbed by Kroger bags going yellow,” a third Twitter user chimed in.

The yellow bags first showed up in some Kroger divisions a few months ago, and they’ve spread to other divisions since then. But they only recently gained traction as a Twitter topic, as people who had been suffering in silence realized they weren’t the only ones who were all worked up over the new bags.

So why all the hate? The color is a little garish, sure. And it doesn’t help that the bags seem to be flimsier and cheaper than the old ones. But the main reason seems to be that loyal Kroger shoppers don’t want to be thought of as the type of people who shop… somewhere else.

“Really not liking the new yellow grocery bags. Poor choice. Looks like I went shopping at Dollar General,” a Twitter user complained. “I do not like the new yellow bags. They look like the Dollar Store bags,” another agreed. “Look, if I wanted YELLOW bags I’d shop at Dollar General! I shop at Kroger because it’s a QUALITY STORE not a discount store,” a third Twitter user ranted.


So now it all makes sense! You can’t have the neighbors thinking you shop at – gasp – Dollar General!

One might forget this is Kroger we’re talking about – an average everyday supermarket, not the kind of place where most customers have any business thinking they’re too snobby to shop at a dollar store. For those who actually are so concerned about status, they could always walk around with reusable bags from Whole Foods, stuff them with Kroger’s “new lower-priced” groceries, and everyone will think they have money to blow on overpriced arugula.

It’s not just the bags, though. Yellow is the official color of the “Say Hello to Lower Prices” campaign, which Kroger is using to call attention to permanent price cuts across the store. There are yellow signs all over the place, including giant signs that completely cover the glass doors at the entrance.

“Customers are already complaining about the yellow signage on the door glass,” wrote one commenter on a forum for Kroger employees. “You can’t see when someone is coming out when you’re trying to go in,” another complained. “You walk up and, bam, there’s somebody right inside the door on their way out.”

Kroger has already phased out the yellow signs and bags in the divisions where they first debuted, and shoppers who are currently suffering through the yellow phase can take solace in the knowledge that Kroger says it’s only temporary.

But if you believe in the idea that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, these hated yellow bags have certainly helped Kroger get the word out about its new lower prices – even if it had to do it by subconsciously invoking an already low-priced competitor.

Let’s just hope that Dollar General doesn’t start introducing light brown bags. Because then this plastic bag brouhaha might just be getting started.

Image source: Twitter/@ehaag



  1. This write up just made my day!!! I was so curious if anyone else was surprised by the new IMO ‘hazmat’ bags and googled. So glad I’m not a freak is all I can say! Lol Kindof weird how we get so stupidly stuck in our ways over the dumbest stuff. They work just as great I’m my PBR trash can as any! My guess is though (gasp) they are cutting corners and got a great discount from some China supplier and are looking to recoup costs on their so called discounted prices. All hail American Greed. How far we (and capitalism) has progressed/regressed

  2. Two reactions: 1) Amazing how people can get so offended and over-react to such a non-event as the color change on a grocery bag!; 2) Makes you wonder if Kroger decided to forego any sort of market research with its loyal shoppers before making such a “drastic” change!

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