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It was interesting to note that in the supermarkets

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It was interesting to note that in the supermarkets under study, anentire shelf, and in the larger stores the equivalent of two entireshelves, extending the full length of the central retail space, aretypically devoted to candies and chocolate bars, and these itemswere conspicuously displayed in many other locations in the storeas well. In most stores a dairy case occupying an entire aisle wasdevoted to high-fat/high-sugar ice creams and other high-fat andhigh-sugar dairy products. This reflects the efforts bymanufacturers and retailers to extend the consumption of frozensnacks from the traditional summer months to the entire year(Maclean 1992). The newer the store, typically the more extensivewas the ice cream case.With respect to some major product categories, it was typical, forexample, to have over 90 per cent of the linear footage devoted tofrozen juice drinks to be occupied by high-sugar beverages thatcontained 25 per cent or less, often much less, of real fruit juice.The situation with canned and Tetra Pak juices was not muchdifferent. In the ready-to-eat breakfast cereal category, from 55 percent to 80 per cent of total shelf space was devoted to pre-sweetened cereals, which represents a potent vehicle for gettingsugar into children’s diets.9The readiness of retailers to marketpre-sweetened cereals aggressively is not surprising, given thatpre-sweetened cereals are the fastest-growing segment of the
fastest-growing product category of 569 product categories trackedby the A. C. Neilsen Company (Burn 1999:13).With consumer research indicating that as much as two-thirds ofbrand selection decisions being madein the store(Nielsen1992:20), and impulse purchases being a significant part of overallprofits for retailers, it is not surprising that stores, in conjunctionwith leading processors, have had increasing recourse to the use ofspecial displays. It is well known that supermarkets have placedhigh-profit impulse items at the checkout, and indeed, in our surveycandies, chocolate products and salty snacks were present at 80per cent or more of the checkout counters in a typical store.Impulse sales are driven throughout the modern supermarketoperation today. Special display stands, hooks, and strips are nowcommonly positioned in the most visible locations throughout thestore.While special display devices can be utilized hypothetically tomarket any manner of goods normally found in supermarkets today,in practice we found they were overwhelmingly dominated bynutrient-poor products. The number of special displays of thesepseudo foods in the sampled stores ranged from 8 to a high of 26,with the average number being 19.Figure 10.1gives an idea of theextensive use of special displays in one of the supermarketssampled, which was fairly typical of other stores as well. It also liststhe products that were featured in these special displays.

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