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Supermarket Tag

With groceries costing more than ever, at the very least, you would expect to get what you paid for.

But the food we buy isn’t always what it says on the packaging. Whether it’s cheap olive oil sold as extra virgin, beef passed off as veal, or drinks watered down, food fraud is more prevalent than you might think.

With everything from fuel, utility, to grocery bills rising constantly, Australians are watching their pennies – cutting back on luxuries, leaving heaters off, adding more blankets in winter, and catching the bus instead of driving.

But food isn't just another bill—it's a necessity. We have to eat, ideally healthily - shunning fast food and snacks in favour of fruit and vegetables, lean meat and seafood. But with food prices increasing an average of eight percent a year (many items have risen a lot more), the grocery bill is taking a bigger and bigger slice out of household budgets each week.

Ever gone to the grocery store with a list of five or six things you need and walked out with double, if not triple that? You’re far from alone.

Of course, once you’re there you might remember something else you need. Or something you usually buy is half price, so you can't resist the deal and buy a couple. And then there’s the impulse buy so many of us are guilty of.

Supermarkets employ a range of ‘buy more’ strategies including bulk purchase deals, reward programs and mood music. Shoppers can save money and avoid temptation simply by being aware of the strategies supermarkets use to encourage spending.

Supermarkets have done their research, they know that store layout and product placement are key to encouraging shoppers to buy more of certain products. There is a reason staple items such as bread and milk are at opposite ends of the supermarket. But it goes beyond that, flowers and baked goods are often found at the supermarket’s entry as things that smell good put us in a good mood and we’re likely to buy more.