How Do Supermarkets Keep Their Food Fresh? These Findings May Surprise You

TWith a supply of 15,000 different products in an average supermarket and 25,000 in a hypermarket, we cannot help but wonder how these stores keep updating their stock.  We found seven ways that are commonly used by supermarkets to keep their food fresh:1

1. They Make You Buy Older Items First The next time you are in a supermarket or grocery store to buy milk, check the difference between the expiry date printed on the milk cartons placed at the front row of the case and the date on the cartons placed at the back. Most customers will quickly grab the milk carton displayed in front of their face, which makes it easier for a store to replenish their stock.2

  1. They Recycle Veggies and Fruits All vegetables and fruits that are not sold in time will be made into prepared foods. Supermarkets are getting better in doing this because they are willing to hire chefs and dietitians who keep up with the latest trends in the food industry. This is why we often see in-store deli, café, or salad counters in a supermarket.3
  2. They Use a Thermal Imager Device Fresh and dairy products need to be refrigerated at all times or they could rot faster, so supermarkets install a device to maintain its temperature. A thermal imaging camera – also known as infrared or thermographic camera – forms an image through infrared rays or heat. It can be used to detect a loss of heating or cooling and to increase energy efficiency, e.g. the more heat an object produces, the whiter it will appear. The same thermal imager device can also be used to detect if the checkout queue gets too long or to see which items are more popular in the store. With that information, they would be able to adjust their stock based on the
  3. They Give Partial Discount Have you ever seen a special discount section near the checkout or “buy 1 get 1” labels in the supermarket? This is the final option for supermarkets to sell their almost expiring items before they are unfit for sale.5
  4. They Sell Ready to Serve Meals Supermarkets make their customers happier by selling ready to serve meals, while at the same time increasing their profit margin.6
  5. They Make You Come Back Soon Don’t you just love it that you can go to a grocery store, choose your meat and have a butcher at the store cut and remove the bones, or even cook it for you? They give additional services to customers so that we come back for more.7
  6. They Donate to Charities It is clear that food contained in broken jars are contaminated, so they need to be disposed of like spoiled foods. However, some are given away to charity or food banks to feed the less fortunate people. Some people would even get these items for free and sell them at very low prices online.

Not all outdated foods are dangerous for our health. Nevertheless, supermarkets and grocery stores are doing their best to maintain the satisfaction of their customers by selling fresh items every day.

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