Looking in People’s Shopping Carts

“Judge not lest ye be judged” notwithstanding, who among us has not looked into the shopping carts of others and thought, “What a bunch of crap!”  Well, I have proof that other people’s shopping carts are, in fact, truly that crappy. The proof is this list of the top 260 U.S. Food (and other supermarket items) Sales for the latest 52 weeks ending June 10, 2012 compiled by the SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm.

Number 1: carbonated beverages (soda!) $11,679,250,000 in sales last year. Number 4: salty snacks (chips!) $8,759,148,000 in sales. And because almost one third of Americans don’t know how to cook, frozen dinners and entrees are #9. Also in the top ten, are beer (#5) and wine (#7), but cigarettes fell from #10 in 2011 to #12. Ice cream is #11, cookies are #17, and chocolate candy is #23. Addicted to sugar? I guess so.

But where are the vegetables? Number 30! Okay, bagged salad is #27, but frozen plain vegetables are #44 and tomato products are #80. Hot cereal, more likely to contain whole grain, is #98, but cold cereal, more likely to be sugared and refined, is #8. And, friends of nutrition, dried beans are sadly #151 directly under the moist towelettes.

Meanwhile, SNAP benefits [food stamps] can be used on any food, and the currently estimated cost of obesity is $190 billion a year.

Your thoughts: What’s wrong with this picture?

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