Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shameful Vegetables or Marketing Ploy?

I was shopping in a Walmart supermarket, which is a Wal-Mart minus textiles, appliances, furniture, electronics, car, toys, sports, crafts or shoes. You have your usual supermarket flow going on - meats and dairy staples in the rear so you have to travel the store to get to them. 

This is the corner. Just TWO of these
sections holds plain frozen vegetables.
The rest is all seasoned, sauced
and/or breaded 
I noticed that in the farthest spot from the front door, the left rear of the store, there is a tiny bit of space devoted to plain frozen vegetables - the kind without seasoning or salt or name brand attachments. 

Do you think Wal-Mart is ashamed of unadulterated vegetables and they hide them in the back corner in hopes people will stop asking for them? OR, do you think it is a savvy marketing ploy to get the people who insist on simple frozen green beans to have to travel the entire store to get their chlorophyll fix?

Why are the vegetables so limited? 



KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

Can you believe that I have never, ever been inside a Walmart store. Really and truly.

That said, I have noticed that there sure is a lot more breaded, sauced, and seasoned stuff in the frozen veggie case where I shop.

Caron said...

We have one of the Walmart Neighborhood Markets too. It is exactly the same as yours. My theory is that they stock what people want and buy. We are in the minority on wanting plain frozen veggies I think.

Vickie said...

If the plain ones are separated from the rest, you are fortunate, even if you have to hike to get them. are baked goods closest to the door?

Jane Cartelli said...

Yes, baked goods, deli and quick foods to go. I sail past that section and go to Produce then across the back for daily, meats, fish, frozen veggies. Then down the beer aisle to checkout. I like that the frozen ice cream, breakfast and nosh foods are in an aisle and not with the frozen veggies.

Karen - Wal-Mart is basically a K-Mart on crack.

Norma said...

Based on my one semester of business school, Jane, I'd say it's simple supply and demand. The things that sell best get the most visibility and shelf space. Not-so-fast moving items get the corners or less accessible areas. More people (and let me go ahead and generalize: most of what I/we might think of as the typical WalMart shopper) probably want the broccoli with the cheese sauce or the frozen rice with the teriyaki sauce so they put them in a convenient spot. One of the supermarkets here puts a small freezer of ice cream at the front of the store (right by produce) in the summer months; it has only half gallons of the store brand vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, respectively; and boxes of the store brand assorted popsicles. Simply for impulse buys and for people running in on their way to a cookout or whatever to grab and go right to the register. I am more than familiar with insidious tactics that stores use to market crap, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...and we as consumers always have the choice to speak up to management or take our business elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Well. Huh. Usually the stuff in the back involves the stuff people came for and all the stuff leading to it is the stuff meant to tempt.

Our Walmart has the frozen veggies right behind the fresh ones. Bakery adjacent to the veggies. Meat in back. The frozen veggies are a weird selection there. They usually tailor it to the population. I must be out of sync with my neighbors.

Jane Cartelli said...

Walmart may be looking to unsettle the business models a bit. There is a strong rumor that they will be opening a new Walmart food market in upscale Windermere - a place where the Stepford wives do not let their shadows fall within the vicinity of a Walmart and they do not tend to eat crap. It will be interesting to see if it is a new model designed to bring in the discriminating platinum card holders or if it is simply an attempt to push the Walmart brand on people who drive Bentleys.

To my friends who live in Windermere: I do not mean you. I mean your neighbors who you talk about all the time. Besides, you don't drive a Bentley.