Supermarkets are crucial to almost every town. People who can claim they've never stepped foot in one are few and far between. The age-old expression of 'never really understanding a person until you sift through their rubbish' has expired. Now, it's all about the supermarket. And the expansion of supermarket chains has made identifying stereotypes far easier.
Look beyond the illuminous lights. Block your ears to repetitive Christmas carols and screaming children. Push aside the determination of getting out of there as soon as possible and open your eyes. It's possible to find your new like-minded best friend, or your stereotyped worst enemy simply by peeping at the contents of their shopping trolley (or basket).
Those who exercise the 9-5 grind are easily identifiable in the aisles. They use baskets, not trolleys, and fill them with ready-made dinners, pre-made sauces, tea bags and whatever muesli bars are on special. These people are busy and they have limited time to pre-prepare meals. Whatever is marginally healthy and convenient is theirs.
People who travel a lot
This breed is more convenience focussed than the 9-5ers. They don't even use baskets. Their armfuls consist of Up and Go and bananas. They have a heavy lean towards toiletries and disposable items. They need that moisturizer for the 6am flights and they need an excess of razors for the sporadic dinner functions they are invited to each trip.
People on yet another health kick (or annoyingly healthy people)
These people spend the most money on food. Being healthy comes at a price. They use trolleys and fill them with colours, nuts, organic meat and even kale (yuck). They are one of the last-standing stereotypes that support the publishing industry by buying health and fitness magazines and they only shop on the outer perimeter of the store, plus the quick dash down the health-food aisle.
Did someone say exploding trolleys? Parents shop once a week, usually at an allocated time. They occasionally have a child in tow and usually prefer to stuff treats into their kids' mouths than listen to them scream about not buying the new pink tiny teddies. Parent shoppers are traditionalists. They buy excess bread, excess cereals, rice, and pasta. Their cooking needs to be easy, nutritious enough and in bulk. And then there are always the Sunny Boys and Tim Tams that are on special that sneak their way in to the trolley.
You can spot a single girl who lives in a share house a mile away. These females shop regularly, and only use baskets. The contents of the baskets vary per day of the week. If it is a Sunday, they are brimming with tuna, salad ingredients, nuts and single chicken breasts. As the days of the week tick on, they are seen lugging around chocolate, toilet paper and expensive skin care products. They always leave space for the wine they are picking up after the grocery shop.
Couples shop once a week, use a trolley and usually come with a plan. They are the duo that grab the trolley that still has the parents shopping list at the bottom of it and swear never to be in their trolley predecessor's shoes. They know exactly what they will purchase, what aisles they will purchase it from and how many minutes they will spend in store. They allow for one treat and leave feeling content and fulfilled.
Also avid trolley users, retirees spend the most time in store. They purchase long-life materials and flour. Their fresh produce quantity is low and they will always grab products that are discounted. They keep Arnott's biscuits afloat.
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