How to Improve the Supermarket Shopping Experience: Add Alcohol!

Grocery shopping is stressful–even for people who claim to enjoy it.

Life was easier when we didn’t have so many choices and the shampoo aisle wasn’t crowded with befuddled men refusing to call their wives and ask for advice on whether they need conditioner for oily, smooth or damaged hair. (Go with the classic clean, guys. Works every time.) And that’s just shampoo; we’ve yet to consider toothpaste, arugula and seven different types of corn flakes. It all leaves the modern shopper thinking: “God, I could use a beer.”

Finally, supermarket chains such as Whole Foods and Wegmans are acknowledging their customers’ desperation. Bars are becoming part of the grocery shopping experience–some stores’ shopping carts even feature cup holders for alcoholic beverages!

Not surprisingly, this development has been popular with men. We like our beer, particularly when we’re out of our comfort zone.

It’s never wise public relations policy to design and implement strategies based on clichés, but in this case the logic is sound.


Both men and women do much of their shopping after a long day of work, and it’s exhausting. There is nothing relaxing about pushing a steel cart through throngs of people only to realize that the block of cheese in your hands costs $11. No wonder you work such long hours. Life is expensive. If only you could take a break and have a beer.

Well now you can.

So thank you Whole Foods and Wegmans. The public appreciates your hospitality. And as businesspeople we also respect your ingenuity. No wonder you want us sticking around: If there is one thing that alcohol makes the public do more of, it is spend money.

What time is last call, anyway?