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Do you make a grocery list before you shop? Do you leave the store with things you didn’t plan to purchase? Do you buy healthy items just to avoid being judged for filling your cart with junk food?

Some of these shopping behaviors might be more common than you may think.

The marketing research company OnePoll has released the results of a shopper survey it conducted on behalf of Kroger. What it discovered might not change your life, but it may give you something to ponder next time you wonder what other shoppers are thinking as you pass them in the grocery aisles.

Among the more unusual findings are that 40% of those participating in the survey said they purposely buy healthy items just to make sure they don’t get judged in the checkout line. Nearly as many avoid the traditional checkout lane altogether by frequenting the self-checkout, to avoid having to face a cashier who might scrutinize their purchases.

That might prove to be of interest to brands that make healthy food items, if it means shoppers can somehow be shamed into buying their products.

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Also of potential interest to brands is the finding that more than three out of four shoppers say they sometimes leave the grocery store with more than they intended to buy, after discovering a deal or just deciding that something looked too good to resist. About two-thirds admitted they sometimes spend more than $50 on unintended or impulse purchases. And 40% experience “cart envy” and have gone in search of something they saw in someone else’s shopping cart.

80% of survey respondents try to avoid impulse purchases by making lists before shopping. List-makers, as you might imagine, tend to be more organized, are more likely to follow recipes and are more likely to identify as early birds. They’re also more likely to say they’re “satisfied with their life.”

Those who like to wander up and down the aisles without a list are more likely to consider themselves night owls, and tend to like making up recipes as they go along. And they’re presumably less satisfied with their life than those merry list-makers.

“It’s always interesting to see what the current habits of shoppers look like – especially as the world opens back up following the pandemic,” an unidentified Kroger spokesperson is quoted as saying in a news release announcing the survey findings.

So what can we learn from these survey findings? Not much, perhaps. But if it adds some levity to what’s been a stressful year, when the simple act of grocery shopping could sometimes feel like you were taking your life in your hands, then even a silly survey could be a welcome diversion.

And at least now you know, if you find yourself grabbing some extra veggies so no one notices the cookies and chips you’re buying, or if you try sneaking your ice cream into the self-checkout lane so no one sees you buying it – you’re not alone.

Image source: Walmart

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