7 On Your Side
Consumer Reports evaluates grocery store items
If going to the supermarket is a headache for you, you're not alone. There are now more choices than ever when it comes to buying food. So what does this mean for your wallet? Consumer Reports has partnered exclusively with 7 On Your Side to find out.
Shoppers like choice, and manufacturers are responding. Back in 1975, the average supermarket carried around 9,000 products. In 30 years, that's swelled to nearly 47,000. Consumer Reports checked in to see if it's leading to supermarket overload.
Buying a box of cereal is simple, right? Well, not anymore. What kind of Cheerios do you want? Honey Nut? Chocolate? Multi-grain? Peanut butter? There are actually 14 variations to choose from. A trip to the supermarket can get overwhelming when many popular products come in more than a dozen varieties like the 15 types of Thomas' English muffins!
Even vanilla is no longer just plain vanilla. Breyers ice cream and frozen dessert comes in half the fat, lactose free, extra creamy, no sugar added, and more.
"We found 27 versions of Crest toothpaste at one store. The company makes more than 50. Now according to a new Consumer Reports survey, consumers tell us they like choice, but 28 percent were overwhelmed dealing with that much information," said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports.
With all this selection, watch the prices - some versions of a product can cost a lot more. Consumer Reports shoppers found this Turkey Hill ice cream for under $3, while Turkey Hill All Natural was more than twice the price. So why all these variations?
"New products are considered the lifeblood of the supermarket. And consider this: When one company offers two products, and another offers ten, odds are the sale's going to go to the company that offers more," said Marks.
And if all this choice gives you a headache -- you can head for the Advil. But you'll have to choose among caplets, tablets, film-coated tablets, or liquid-gels.
All these choices are too much for some shoppers. In Consumer Reports' survey, one out of 20 said they walked away empty-handed because it was just too hard to make a decision.
Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.
(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2010. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
consumer reports, 7 on your side, michael finney
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