Consumer News–Week of April 4

Here is the supermarket news and coupon news that caught our eye this week:

-Daily shopping prolongs the life of elderly people, shopping_improves_healthaccording to a recent study in Taiwan that was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.  The daily shoppers had 27% less risk of death compared to the least frequent shoppers.  Researchers think it was because shopping involves exercise, socializing, and mental activity.

-A new TLC reality show called “Extreme Couponing” debuted this past Wednesday.  It is great if this show introduces more people to coupons.  Realize that some of these filmed shopping visits get extreme savings by getting exceptions to some of the regular coupon policies and rules from the stores – who are happy to get the publicity from the tv show.  But it is completely true that you can get real savings with coupons and the everyday coupon policies.

-Rite Aid reported today that it had lower fourth-quarter losses than the year earlier, and expects an even stronger 2012.  They now have 36 million members in their Wellness Plus program.  The story notes that Rite Aid plans to remodel 500 stores this year as it starts a new program to include more organic and natural products.  We wish good things for Rite Aid, a store very friendly to its coupon shoppers.

-There is a lot of science and study that goes into designing grocery shelves and product placement.  Researchers design studies that have people go down virtual grocery aisles.  The shoppers eye movements are tracked, and the researchers note what products are ignored and which ones catch attention.  There are detailed books out there (for instance here and here) that describes the studies that grocery stores do on consumer behavior.