You may find yourself lost while eyeing for goods in a grocery store, especially the large ones with too many aisles. Shoppers get puzzled about where specific items are to be found that slows down supermarket run.
Fortunately, grocery stores have organized sections, making it easier for you to complete your list.
Grocery Store Terms to Remember
Having an idea of the different terms used in grocery stores will enable you to navigate pieces of stuff faster. Here is a list of non-food and food-related terms grocery stores use:
Organic food is regulated by the government. Manufacturers of organic foods do not use chemical and other artificial treatments during production. They cost higher than non-organic foods.
FDA does not permit the term “all-natural” as related to the production of goods. If you found products with such labels, it is still necessary to check the ingredients to ensure getting safe goods.
Buying meat is where you can encounter this term. Grass-fed simply means the animal is pasture-raised, but not totally organic. Choose to buy organic grass-fed beef with a USDA rating to ensure quality.
This is a so-called in-store coupon where you can get unavailable items on its sale price when back on stock.
Some manufacturers would issue a refund for a particular purchase made. It is a portion of the overall purchase coming from the manufacturer.
Unit price is the item costs per unit, for example with paper products. It makes sure you are getting the best possible value for your money.
End caps are commonly found at the end of the aisles that display special items on sale. Its purpose is to initiate more purchases.
7 Different Departments in a Grocery Store
Knowing the above terms will help you know where to find a particular item in the grocery store. Now, let us learn more about the different departments of a grocery store to speed up your errands.
- Produce Department
This section contains fresh produce items and can be found near the entrance of the store. The logic behind this is to show the entire store is about to sell the best products, fresh and healthy. Most produced items are in bold colors that can easily attract buyers to place an order.
Some stores do sell fresh flowers in a separate department, or together with the produce items. A little space is provided to prevent smells to mix up and just ruin your errand.
The goods are arranged according to freshness, wherein on the front row are the freshest and in-season goods while the others in the back. For smarter marketing, goods at the front row are cheaper to imply they are selling value-packed items.
- Meat Department
The meat department is obviously where chicken, pork, beef, and some special meats are found. It is organized from fresh and frozen packaged items so shoppers can quickly find what they are looking for.
Some meat counters offer cut-to-order services, with the best butcher to provide information coming across to your needs.
- Seafood Department
Next to the meat department is a bunch of fresh seafood to satisfy your cravings. Everything that will complete your seafood recipe can be spotted in this section, such as a variety of fishes, shrimp, crabs, scallops, and more.
And guess what? A number of stores can even sell live lobsters to be caught in a tank for your fresh sushi. The other goods are also as fresh as caught by the sea.
- Beer and Wine Section
Other states made restrictions on selling beers at the grocery store, or just limit the hours of disposal. The rules are quite confusing, but let’s focus on the matter.
Beers and wine are often separated from other departments, considering the minors who might buy due to curiosity. A dry shelf does exist to hold the bottles of wine and some other beverages, while there is another aisle for refrigerated beers.
In most grocery stores, the beer and wine section is set at the corner and has a separate counter to pay for. This ensures no minor has got a chance to purchase liquor at any time of the day.
- Health and Beauty Department
Pharmacies in a grocery store can be rare, but some already took an upgrade by adding one. There you can buy personal care products at a reasonable price, and from reliable manufacturers.
For most stores, there is a separate section that consists of health and beauty products such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, vitamins, toothbrushes, and so on. This portion may also include first aid items and some other things for your wellbeing.
You can also find more items over-the-counter, like pain relievers and medicines which can be paid for right away for your convenience.
- Deli Department
Deli or simply called prepared food is also reachable in some grocery stores. They are usually located alongside the store like a cafeteria-style for easy access. Pre-packaged items are common in this section such as meats and cheeses, and also cooked meats and side dishes.
With a full-service deli department, somebody will work for slicing the meat for you. It can also provide salad bars for the shoppers to enjoy self-serving, of course, you need to pay for every item purchased.
- Customer Service Department
Part of the grocery store is where you can find the people behind the success. It is easy to look for as the department is surrounded by a full-service bank, money wiring services, and ATM nearby. You can run to this place if you need help where the customer service desk will cater to your needs.
Common Aisles of a Grocery Store
Each department of a grocery store is composed of these basic aisles. Although stores add up labels on every aisle, knowing them will make shopping a lot easier, even for new shoppers in a specific store. Read on to know where to find what you are looking for even before going to stores.
Celebrating birthdays is better with homemade cakes and other delicacies. Making one requires buying for ingredients that most groceries can offer such as flour, nuts, sugar, and other baking materials together with some boxed desserts.
This isle is different from the wine and beer department, which consists of healthier and more varieties of drinks. It will offer distilled water, energy drinks, juices, and even powdered mixes.
Bigger stores could provide more space to hold these items for plenty of options to choose from.
The bread area is most often located near the door entrance, as loaves of bread are one of the most bought items in the grocery. Therefore, it is made easy to grab so you can pay immediately on the counter. It does not offer slices of bread, but hotdog buns, bagels, hamburgers, and many more.
To look for a breakfast meal, you can directly go to the cereal aisle. There you will see various quick filling meals for your tummy in the morning. It can be ready-to-cook pancake mixtures, waffles, and your top favorite cereals, with the best syrups in the market.
Are you planning for a pajama party with your closest friends? It would be more fun with lots of snacks while chit chatting before bed. You should buy delicious and healthy finger food for the night at the store near you. Go straight to the aisle full of snacks, and pick whatever your choices are.
If I could be honest, this part is the fastest to get emptied in a grocery store. It suits all ages’ taste with plenty of snack choices.
Canned Goods Aisle
For an emergency grocery list, canned goods are surely on your top list because of the convenience. There are varieties of canned goods to choose from depending on your needs, it can be canned meat, fish, fruits, or veggies.
One thing to guarantee is that the canned goods aisle can be more than one section due to a lot of options.
Frozen Foods Aisle
Buying an ice cream can bring relief during hot weather, and you can get the flavor of your liking at grocery stores. They are in a separate fridge near the cold beverages and are sorted according to brand, price, size, and flavor.
Condiments are the tiniest parts of every recipe you cook, and yet the most important. It adds flavor and aroma to any home recipe, which is really a good thing. Grocery stores made room for condiments in a single-aisle to help shoppers complete their recipes.
Dairy products are mostly in the fridge to keep their texture and quality. They are placed in a corner that consists of butter, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and other milk varieties. This grocery item is less likely to occupy an entire cooler because of its very small quantity.
Boxed Dinners Aisle
Walking around a grocery store, you will notice a group of boxes containing different choices of items like rice and pasta. In this aisle, shoppers with particular picks of goods can easily make a purchase.
Household Cleaning Aids Aisle
Household cleaning requires cleaning tools making the process more effective to deliver the best possible outcome. Those supplies needed are available in most grocery stores, from small to bigger cleaning tools.
This aisle of items is composed of bleach, deodorizers, and even detergents for your dishes and laundries.
Paper Goods Aisle
Paper products commonly come near household cleaning aids. It includes paper towels, garbage bags, and anything made of paper. You can also grab a toilet tissue of different brands in this aisle.
Personal Care Aisle
The health and beauty department is very similar to the personal care aisle of what you can find in these areas. From the word “personal care” includes your skin and hair care products, and other items for personal hygiene like denture products.
Other Items Aisle
Some other aisles of a grocery store contain baby items like diapers, wipes, bath essentials, and more. Also, there is a place to buy items for your pets, just in the corner.
If batteries are your to-buy item, you can find some right on the counter. Grocery stores are indeed full packed and home to almost everything you need. Make sure you are heading to the right aisle to get the most out of it.
Things to Consider Before Going to a Grocery Store
Learning the different aisles of a grocery store may not be sufficient to help your errands. Here are some more things to remember to enjoy your shopping.
Know the Aisles
The majority of your errands time is spent walking around the aisles back and forth, and over again. There are so-called perimeter sections that hold essential goods and items you might be looking for, such as meats, vegetables, fruits, and other healthier foods.
However, 85% of the store called the inner aisle can steal your time for shopping, which contains processed foods or unhealthy options. They are not termed the “worst aisles” for no reason.
Shopping along the perimeter can speed up your errand according to Mayo Clinic Health System, and may maintain your healthy diet as well.
Grocery stores also support paying attention to where certain items are located. You can start from the right side to the left side of the store, there you will realize that the last section would be the frozen section. Try to remember it the next time you go to the grocery store.
Do you remember a day when you go shopping and cannot find an item on the same spot where you shopped a week ago? It is uncommon for grocery stores to move an entire department of goods to another place, as this might annoy shoppers.
Make a Grocery List
One reason we are stuck in a grocery store is because of uncertainty. We are not sure of what to buy and do the budgeting at the spur-of-the-moment.
A grocery list can help to quicken your errand and even stick to your budget. Do not get items not included on the list, unless you remember something really important.
Each aisle of goods is more organized early in the morning, thus it is easier to find what you aim to buy. Late shoppers do experience finding items in different sections, which can be frustrating.
This mostly applies in buying fresh goods where you can have the best pick among anyone else. Although groceries sustain their goods’ freshness all day, it is still better to shop early.
Grocery stores do offer coupons to attract more customers, especially during holidays or special occasions. This helps to save up money making you able to buy some other goods. Keep in mind that coupons may trick you to buy unnecessary items that are not even in your plan to buy. Only use them for purchasing essential items.
Buy in Bulk
Buying items in bulk can save money in the long run, but not all the time. Some aisles in a grocery store sell items in bulk and sometimes at a discounted price. It does not happen most to your errands getting more items than what you really need. But, remember that buying more can also lessen your time going to stores more often.
How does Grocery Stores Organize in Coronavirus Times?
All grocery stores are affected since the pandemic started. It almost stopped people from going to the stores as we need to practice physical distancing. From then on, they think of ways to continue while keeping the workers and customers safe by preventing the spread of the virus.
The first move is to disinfect everything before the operation begins. Besides, there will be disinfection in the front door for all who enter the store. Wearing a mask and face shield is also mandated, as we all know how quick the transmission of coronavirus is.
One more thing is to widen store aisles for a better social distancing. However, not all grocery stores are suited to this endorsement, especially those small ventures. The good thing is they actively seek more safety measures to keep everyone safe from the deadly disease.
To sum it all up, grocery stores hold various items to sell for a wide range of customers. The struggle begins in finding goods in different sections of the store.
Being able to identify on what aisle a particular item can be found is an advantage for shoppers. Stores follow a standard in organizing the products they sell, so no need to worry as wherever you go for shopping makes the details above useful.
Completing your grocery list may take time in a large store, however getting yourself familiar with each section speeds up the errand.
Share your errand experiences in the comment and on how this post has helped you in your next shopping spree! It would be nice to hear from you.