When you go to the grocery store, your probably don't think about all the marketing tactics that are being utilized by companies to get you to buy their products.
These tactics are extremely misleading; companies actually try to trick you into buying their products. Even worse, the techniques used are very subtle and tricky; so much so that you may not even know you're being misled.
Food manufacturers spend billions of dollars annually to market their processed and unhealthy foods to the public, and purposely try to confuse consumers.
The problem does not end with grocery stores.
Even when going into supposedly "healthy" restaurants, you're bombarded with the showcase of unhealthy sweets and treats -- and usually "sold" on these treats by the people behind the counter. If you've ever heard the phrase, "Would you like to add a yummy pastry for dessert for only 99 cents?" then you understand what the company is trying to do.
Not only that, but the food designers behind these treats have concocted just the right amount of sugar, fat and salt so that your experience is both pleasurable and memorable. This increases the chance that you'll eat the same or similar treat upon your next visit.
In one simple visit, you've become a victim of food placement, food packaging, the bargain technique and food design. Kids are especially susceptible to these techniques.
How can you combat these smooth marketing tactics?
Always plan ahead; make sure you have a healthy choice at ALL times... even when you're not thinking about being tempted by food. Food companies are now pairing up with sports stores and office supply stores to place their products, catching you off-guard when you least expect it.
Second, make sure you pay attention to changes in the produce section of the grocery store. You equate produce with healthy, right? But beware of cake and whipped cream near the strawberries. This product placement can quickly trick your brain into thinking "strawberry shortcake."
Finally, be aware that what seems "real" may not be. You know those wonderful smells wafting from ice cream or chocolate shops? Scent manufacturers or flavorists create scents to mimic the smell of fresh-baked waffle cones, chocolate, vanilla, etc. to entice you into the establishment.
Donna Morin joins Andrea to explain just how companies mislead you as a consumer, as well as how you can effectively be aware and resist their tactics.