Are you a "grocery store grazer"?

United States
August 5, 2009 11:56pm CST
As my last discussion on shopping ettiquette went over so well, with a multitude of responses, i thought i would try another one out. When you are shopping in a grocery store, to you eat food before you pay for it? I see this all the time at the store where i work. People will grab a box of cookies, a bag of chips, a soda, and crack it open and munch or drink away while they continue through the store to do their shopping. I personally have no problem with this, so long as when the customer reaches the register, they have the cashier scan the item and then pay for it. There are a few times when it DOES become an issue with me though ~When people walk through the store eating fruit or begetables that are sold by weight. I am not bashing anyone for popping Agrape or two or something to see if they are of good quality, but if you put a package of grapes in your cart, then continue to eat half the bag as you do you shopping, in my eyes this is considered shop lifting, as we now have no way of charging you for what you have alreay consumed! (I have often seen this and thought we whould weigh customers when they come in, then when they leave, and charge them a set fee per pound of whatever the difference may be! LoL) ~When people drop chips or crumbs of whatever they are eating all over the floor as they are consuming the product. This is just gross. Would you walk thruogh your house eating a bag of chips and leave a trail of crumbs behind you? ~When people don't have the cash on them to pay for these products, and then their credit/debit/food stamp card is declined. If you aren't 100% sure you have th ability to pay for it, please don't eat it! This puts us n a very very awkward position in the store. What are we suposed to do in this instance? Call the cops and have you get in trouble for shoplifting, when it is obvious that you were intending to pay for the item, but not cant? we don't want to do this to our customers over a bag of chips, so we wind up eating the cost and the person gets away with it, while we just hope they didn't do it on purpose! and lastly.. ~People who eat the food, then ditch the empty wrapper on the shelf so they don't ahve to pay for it. A grocery store is not a free food service. Once again, the cost of people doing this gets passed on to every other shopper in the form of higher prices on food. though in this case, when we do catch someone doing it, we do prosecute them for shoplifting. So anyways, how about you? Have you been known to "graze" your way through the grocery store? Do you always pay for the items you eat? Do you think this is an acceptable practice for customers to do? How do you feel when you see someone open up a packag and start eating in the store?
5 people like this
8 responses
@AmbiePam (50953)
• United States
6 Aug 09
No way! I would be mortified even if I was with someone who did that. I think it is just rude. I would never do it, and I really am astonished people do do it. Because I've seen them too. I don't know if it is lack of manners taught growing up, but I would think by the time adulthood sets in one would get why that isn't acceptable.
3 people like this
• United States
6 Aug 09
you'd be amazed at some of the things i see full grown adults do that you wuld think they should have outgrown. It is crazy.
1 person likes this
@fwidman (11515)
• United States
6 Aug 09
I am one of those that might try a grape or two to see if they are ripe enough to eat. But, that's all! People that eat while shopping are, to me, pigs that should have stayed home and eaten. I see no reason why the shopper cannot wait until they leave the store before consuming anything. They shouldn't be shopping if they are hungry anyway as they will not make good food decisions they will buy junk
2 people like this
• United States
6 Aug 09
I agree with the grape thing...trying one or two to make sure they are ripe and sweet enough is okay.....i hate buying a bunch of grapes only to find out they are all too much on the sour side for me...or are too ripe and have gotten mushy When it comes to samples...i can totally see this for the "passive" samples (pardon my teminology..i have worked in the retail biz for too long), these being the tray of cleese cubes that is just sitting there with no one watching it to see if other people are just grabbing with their fingers and not using the toothpick etc. But at my store, about three or four days a week, we have "active" sampling, with a product ambassador (or demo lady) if you prefer, who set up her little cart and either cooks up or dishes up samples of various food and products we have in our store, and passes out recipe cards or coupons or info on health benefits etc. These i am ok with, as she is trained in food safty, is there watching the food at all times, making sure it is hot enough/cold enough and is serving them up right in front of you instead of letting them sit there for ages. I must admit when i am working, i sometimes wind up eating my "lunch" right from her cart, as she passes me multiple samples everytime i pass her cart!
2 people like this
• United States
6 Aug 09
shoot, i just realized i posted my reponse to this comment, when i meant for it to go to the one above..i am terribly sorry, as this makes no sense to your post, let me try again. I am with you on that. Why not just wait! Often times i see people giving something to their small children in order to appease them and keep them from fussing while shopping, and this i am slightly more agreeable with, but only slightly. And so true about shopping when you are hungry! You ind up making poor choices and buying all kinds of things you don't need just because they look good! But also, i find i can't do my grocery shopping right after i have eaten either...if i am too full..nothing looks good, then when i get home and go to make something to eat later in the day, i am dissapointed with myself because i didn't buy hardly any food LoL
2 people like this
@fwidman (11515)
• United States
6 Aug 09
Don't worry about the comment snafu, it happens all the time here. I've done it myself a few times LOL There does seem to be a need to shop when you are neither full nor starving. It makes it easier to choose foods you will actually want to eat later
2 people like this
• United States
6 Aug 09
I am guilty of opening food packages while at the store, but not for myself. When I have to take my 2 year old shopping with me, I can often times keep him quiet and behaved if he has a snack to keep him busy. And then I find myself eatinga bite here or there too, which probably doesn't look too good, but oh well. I agree with you when people eat half of bunch of grapes or what not, when it is sold by weight. To me that is technically stealing, and I wouldn't do it in fear they would charge me higher for doing so!
2 people like this
• United States
6 Aug 09
I can totally understand it in the case of small children. A shopping trip to a two year old can be a very long and boring time. And i can assure you, as someone who works there, i would rather see you give your kid something to eat and occupy them, than to have them crying and being fussy and cranky the entire time they are int he store!
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Aug 09
LOL My son is a good kid for the most part at the store, but it's only because I keep him occupied with his snacks or have him "help" me by holding something I just put in the cart, or having him select something that we need. I too get annoyed with screming babies and toddlers in the store, but as a mother I have surely been there, as I have 3 kids. I really prefer to shop alone, but that rarely happens LOL.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Aug 09
my mom used to do that with my borther when we were old enough. she would tell us each one specific item to find and let us go get it and bring it to the cart before telling us another one. It certainly kept us occupied and made us feel like we were relly helping.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
6 Aug 09
yup I do pop a grape once in awhile or opened a box of kleenex if I need to but would ever just eat chips or anything else like that. as I know ya cant weigh the people going in and out of store.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Aug 09
Though if we could, it would probably disuade people from eating a bunch of weighable produce while in the store!
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
6 Aug 09
yes just might
2 people like this
• United States
7 Aug 09
I never graze....I have this strange thing about people touching my food so I just assume others feel the same way, and I think about the produce not being washed...basically I like food clean. Very clean.
• United States
8 Aug 09
I can't say i blame you! Many people don't wash their fruits or vegetables before using them, but you never know how many people picked over them in the store! That reminds me of a funny thing i saw in thebreakroom the otherday. A co-worker of mine had brought a banana in her lunch and washed it in the sink first. I found this kind of odd, as i i will usually skip washing fruits like bannanas and oranges they are in a peel which gets removed before eating, I supose she has a point though, you never really know what has come in contact with them and should probably wash them wll even if you will be removing the peel.
@GardenGerty (109013)
• United States
7 Aug 09
I do not do any of those things. My mother would be spinning in her grave if I did. I do not like to see people doing this. The one exception I can think of to even want to eat something before paying is if you are having a sudden low blood sugar. Of course I would bring my own snack if I had that much of a bad time with my blood sugar.
• United States
8 Aug 09
Oh certainly, in the case of a medical emergency like that, i could totally understand it! We wouldn't want you to fall ill just because you felt the need to wait in line and pay before seeing to yourself!
1 person likes this
@MNRFOLEY (223)
• Australia
6 Aug 09
I usually do grocery shopping with my 3 year old girl. And there are times that she cant wait to try some of the goodies that I got for her. She will constantly nag and nag and nag me about having one of these or one of that and she wont stop until she gets what she wants ( typical for this age: the terrible 3's). To keep her quiet so I can concentrate on my grocery shopping I'll give her some. But what ever she consumes I pay when we get to the counter because that's the right thing to do.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Aug 09
Yes, i can totally understand doing that with kids. I don't have any of my own, but i know they can be persistant when they want something! Thank you so much for sharing.
@ladym33 (11007)
• United States
6 Aug 09
No I have never done that with the exception of when I was a teenager and they had those Brachs candy displays where you were suppossed to put change in the in the tin and could take a candy. We would pretent to put money in there and take a candy anyways, but I have not done that since I was 14, and I don't think they have those anyways. No I would not eat food in a store unless it was a sample or the deli or bakery gave me something to try. The bakery at most of the stores around here will give kids a cookie and my kids always get a cookie at them. Sometimes the deli will give them a piece of cheese, that is fine because they are giving it to us, but I would never take it upon myself to just grab something and start eating that. I think that is stealing. I would be nervouse if I even intended to pay for it in case they thought I was trying to steal it. No thank you I don't want any trouble. I will pay for my food and eat it in the car if I am that hungry.
• United States
6 Aug 09
I know what you mean about the brachs bulk candy display. I think most stores have gotten rid of them now though. I know my store did about 4 years ago or so, and i haven't seen them anywhere else. Possibly they started getting rid of them because i know that lots of people/kids did as you admit to doing in the past, pretended to put their nickle in, but take a candy anyways! I don't blame you for not wanting any trouble. I am sure there are some stores out there that would come after you for eating something before you had paid for it. In my store, we do kind of keep an eye on these people..just to make sure they are paying for the items when they leave, and usually they do, but every once in a while we catch someone and then serve them with a criminal trespass for stealing. (generally the dollar amount is not high enough for us to bother with calling the police, we just serve a criminal trespass and they are not allowed in the store again for a year.
1 person likes this