MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Supermarket tricks

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - After checking out, you may leave the grocery store feeling like you just spent too much. You won't be surprised to hear - the store is pulling out all the stops to make sure you buy more.

Nothing in your grocery store is there by chance, according to marketing professor David Stewart.

"They observe people from the time they walk into the store until the time they walk out," said Stewart. "They develop patterns of shopping. They look at how people move through the store and compare that to what people actually bought at the counter. It's a real science."

Grocery stores are known for placing staples like milk, bread and eggs in the back of the store… so you'll pick up something more along the way. Lighting also affects what you buy.

"If you have the wrong color lights, the reds won't come out, the yellows, oranges, everything will look dull, like it's dusty. And with the right lighting, everything kind of pops out."

Good lighting can also bring out the fresh appearance of meat.

"A lot of the end caps and a lot of the aisle displays are really intended, not just to display the product, but they often cause you to have to stop."

Product placement is always a factor. Staples like flour and sugar don't get the best placement - you'll buy them anyway. But soft drinks and cereals are placed at eye level, where it's more competitive.

Textured flooring is designed to slow you down, right at the premium stuff. Sales of those products jump six percent when they're next to a speed bump.

Counterclockwise shopping is why most supermarket entrances are on the right. Customers spend up to 7 percent more shopping this way because most shoppers are right-handed.

And fish on ice... it's a cooler. The fish doesn't need ice to keep from spoiling, but that crushed ice says "fresh"... even if that fish actually came out of a frozen shipping crate.

Another marketing trick, placing fresh products up-front. That's why cut flowers and fruit are always right at the entrance. It makes you connect the whole store with freshness.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.