Can using a basket make you healthier?

It is a well-known fact that you shouldn’t go shopping when you are hungry. You are likely to buy more food than you need as well as go for more sugary or carbohydrate heavy foods than normal. Similarly, shopping without a list can make you reach for unneeded food, rather than the ingredients necessary for planned meals – meaning eating more food or wasting leftover items.

However, there is some good news if you are consciously trying to eat a more balanced diet. Research published in the Journal of Marketing Research suggests that using a trolley could make you more likely to choose healthier items when you shop. In the article, the authors found that using a trolley made participants up to three times more likely to purchase more nutritious foods due to the relation between the body and the mind.

The findings are explained by the fact that holding a basket has a different impact on the brain than pushing a trolley has. In the study, it was found that the action of flexing an arm whilst carrying a basket, led to participants choosing, smaller unhealthier items that those who push a trolley, where the effect on food choice was the opposite. This behaviour is something known as embodied cognition, which means that body movements can influence thoughts and behaviours – in case the type of food being purchased.

Whilst this may be one explanation for consumer behaviour, other factors such as store layout, shelf management systems and promotional displays can affect purchasing decisions. Joalpe have more than 30 years of experience providing shopfitting equipment to the retail sector. In addition to plastic shopping baskets we supply a wide range of products including shelf dividers, leaflet displays and scanning rails. For more information or to place an order please contact us on 01924 468940.