Another grocery store secret revealed!

By Meghan Overdeep
May 26, 2020
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From strategic layouts to freshly spritzed produce, there are a number of subtle ways grocery stores lure us into buying more.

Sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but not even oranges are safe from this psychological trickery.

Though plain by modern grocery store standards, there’s nothing passive about the red, mesh bags oranges come packaged in. As Reader's Digest points out, they’re specially designed to make you want to buy them. (They also make excellent DIY pot-scrubbers!)

Simply put, the color orange pops against red. Packaging oranges in red bags creates an illusion that makes them appear more orange. Buyers tend to associate brighter hues with freshness, and if there’s anything a hungry shopper can’t resist, it’s a bright orange, well… orange.

The red bag trick also works with other orange-hued citrus fruits like tangerines and some grapefruit. Grocery stores employ a similar trick with lemons, which are typically sold in yellow or green bags to make them appear—you guessed it—more yellow.

Pretty wild, right?