Grocery Store Marketing Scams

Walk into any grocery store today and you’re facing any number of scams. Scams to get you to spend more, and have less in your pockets and cupboards. Many of these scams come from the parent company of the grocery store, while others come from manufacturers themselves.

End caps

Every grocery store utilizes every inch of their space. This includes the end caps of aisles. These end caps have items on them that are often priced a lot higher than the same items of a different brand. To top it off, the normal place for these items is always across the store, which means if in a hurry one must walk all the way across the store and locate the aisle where the remainder of the products are located. It’s worth it though, these items are always less expensive and often of higher quality.


Along with wage freezes and unemployment, packaging is being downsized. What once contained eight ounces of product often holds only 6 ounces now. Check all of your products especially if they appear to be in newfangled packaging. Often companies reduce the packaging size and keep the price the same so one is getting less for their money than previously.

Buy one get one free

While buy one get one free (BOGO) may look good, read the fine print. Sometimes one must purchase a specified amount (usually $10 to $25) of other groceries before the buy one get one deal kicks in. Check the packaging as well, sometimes the buy one get one free packaging may be for smaller sized packages.

Meat packages also take advantage of the buy one get one deal, the only problem is that you will get one item of equal or lesser value and frequently there is a very high priced package and a very low priced package and they seem to be the only two available packages. Do the math and decide if the overall price is worth it for what is being purchased.

Newer scams

One of the newer scams requires one to be signed up for a store discount card. As an incentive to get customers in the store will advertise that a coupon will be given for every purchase over $100. These coupons typically offer a special coupon worth around $10 off of the next grocery purchase over $50. Of course these offers will vary, but for the most part, if one went into the store to purchase a loaf of bread but saw this offer they might be tempted to overspend in order to save $10 on the next purchase of $50. This shopper has just been scammed into spending more than they budgeted.


Prepackaged produce items will often advertise a price per package. Not every package weighs the same. One may feel silly weighing prepackaged items, but it’s worth it to get all of the product at the right price.

There are many scams at grocery stores as ways the marketing division works to keep the money coming into the store and out of consumers pockets. These are just a few of the ways that consumers are scammed out of their hard earned money everyday. New ways are cropping up every day so be a savvy shopper and do the homework before falling prey to these scams.