Our top five

I just learned an interesting tidbit from my day job as a Retail Planner. The top five items purchased in a grocery store are...drumroll...






Interesting. I am super happy to see that milk, my all-time favorite beverage, is still topping the list. It gives me hope that Americans will hang onto their health. I'm likewise sad that soda, my all-time least favorite beverage, is number 5. It's beating out many tastier, more nutritious items. Do we really drink that much soda?

And sure, I understand eggs and bread. Eggs are like the backbone of America. We all grew up with eggs for breakfast. And bread - well, who can argue with bread. Even with the Atkins craze coming in and out of our consciousness, bread remains a mainstay of the all-American lunch.

But bananas - who knew? I guess they have some good things going for them - they're ready-to-eat, they tell you when they're ripe, they are quite filling, they come in pre-packaged bunches, you don't need to wash them, and if they get old, you can always make banana bread.

So this list is a little generic, but it represents the country as a whole. What I'd love to know is, what are the top 5 items that I buy in a grocery store? I'm sure Jewel knows this - they have my Preferred Card data stored away somewhere - so wouldn't it be more interesting if they could share it with me? I would be super curious to see how my buying patterns have changed in the 8 years that I've had the card. Did I used to buy more mac and cheese? I think I did. Have I gone through phases with orange juice? It seems like I was into it for a while, then it left my list, and now it's back. Have I gotten healthier? Less price-conscious? Better at finding good deals? What are some of the things I used to love, like cottage cheese, that I have simply forgotten about? I would love to be reminded of what I used to buy.

In this world of pervasive advertising and marketers desperate to generate word-of-mouth cred with "persons of influence," I think the most influential person to me would be, me! So sure, tell America what America is buying, and we will all go "Ohhh, interesting." But tell me what I am buying, and I will most likely buy it again.


Elliott said...

My top five items are surely represented thusly:

Catfood, Yogurt, Red Wine, Orange Juice, Soup

sara said...

I'm not positive, but I could take a stab at my top five.

Milk, Special K, Apples, Cream, Avocados.

Sounds pretty gross when you put them all together.

George said...


cornish hens
2% organic milk
dubliner cheddar cheese

Elliott said...

I love that George has cornish hens in his top five. If you are serious that could possibly be the best thing I've ever read.

Stacy said...

You people are all crazy.

Ha ha, just kidding. ;)

Jessica said...

Wow Sara. That's such a good idea. Because not only would it help you out, by reintroducing you to foods and products you used to buy and love but kind of forgot about (like you said with cottage cheese. by the way you should get some, it's good). But also it's very practical for the grocery store cause it can potentially bring in more revenue.

It seems like a feature that the supermarket could have on their website maybe. Like, you put in your card number and then have access to your account and what you've bought. I'm sure there are easy ways to sort out what's been bought most often - like in itunes, with the play-count.

You should pitch it!