Grocery Grazers and “Samplers”

This morning I am writing about something I just do not understand, that I see everyday when I visit an upscale grocery nearby.  So, I am going to wax a bit in the vein of a curmudgeon now, so I ask forgiveness in advance.

Now I understand “grazers,” people who just seem to have an impulse – perhaps  involuntary – or in the inner cities and poor rural areas, those who are just in fact very hungry, that causes them to reach out and take a little of a food item as they pass by.  Grapes seem to be easy pickings, because heck, who can tell if one or a dozen grapes go missing from multiple stalks?  Those who are not truly hungry though, who graze, all I can do is a “SMH.”  Personally I would not eat anything sitting out in the open with hundreds of hands and breaths passing over it, but well, that’s just me.

It’s what I am calling the “samplers” that I just don’t understand.  Upscale markets invariably have sample tables, with hired hands to stand there at a small counter or table, ALWAYS at a pinch point that mires grocery carts and old people like me just trying to get to where I know exactly I need to where awaits exactly what I cam to purchase.  I just do not understand people who are so attracted to free bits of a food, or a wine, or coffee (the usual culprits).  However, I did a tiny bit of looking on the web about marketing ploys stores use, and along with routing people in certain ways through the store, and creating mazes to confuse and slow you down so you will spend more time “seeing” stuff you don’t need (but often will buy, right?), the free food samples apparently do work in boosting brand sales or total store volume.

It’s not that I am not open to new experiences, no way, as I am often one going against the grain, doing what someone of “my kind” is not expected to do.  However, when it comes to food, I know what I like, what I don’t like, and I am not going to just put something in my mouth because it’s free.  I do look around some when shopping, and I certainly know that packaging imagery can be attractive.  It’s amazing how various gourmet type items come in almost an infinite array of “cool” looking packages, colors, designs, all intended for us to reach out and touch it.  I have sort of immunized myself against that, but not completely, much to my own chagrin.  “I am still weak.”

Maybe it really is not my bewilderment about people who clog up the aisles awaiting there tidbit samples, that is maddening.  Rather it’s the traffic jams caused by these sampling stations.  I just want to get in, and get out, ok?

On the other hand, maybe I am creating in my mind a problem (for myself) that is totally fabricated.  Maybe I just need to realize, I live among other human beings, and I have to “accommodate them.”

I will remember that today when I am in the store, trying to figure out how to circumnavigate a clogged aisle.  I thought when I gave up my car and commuting all that was behind me, but…..people are everywhere it seems.


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