image courtesy of woodfordnewspaper.com

So today I read that Woolworths has confirmed it will configure the checkouts in about half of its 820 stores to increase the ratio of drinks and snacks to magazines.

Surprised? Not really. Happy about it? Not really.

Apart from fighting my own demons every time I’m at the check out the prospect of my children having more selection is not my idea of fun.

But yes, yes, I am the parent and I can say no. I often do much to their dismay; but as a parent let me paint this picture for you.

I go to do the shopping with the children; they can read they know which aisle is the confectionery aisle even though I try to deftly distract and dodge that aisle altogether.

A 45 minute shop can seem like a lifetime with whiney kids and when I’m stuck at the check out for another 10-15 minutes things can’t possibly end well.

My children look at me with a look that reads, “why give birth to me if you are only going to deny me?” Melodramatic much? Not the way they see it.

Now I don’t know about you but my shopping expeditions usually require a visit to a few shops where surprise, surprise, there is confectionery at the check out. I know this isn’t a new phenomena; confectionery at check outs is as old as capitalism, product placement and manipulation.

But after visiting a few shops, my resolve can wear thin. My children think I am doing them a disservice and I fear our relationship will suffer irreparable damage. Okay, that was a bit melodramatic.

I am well aware that products are placed on particular shelves that will catch the eye of a child, and advertisers although may not admit it, they will advertise to children with the hope that they can wear their parents down.

Promises of wholegrains and fibre are just feel good sweeteners for the parents to get them over line and purchase a product because brightly coloured cereal boxes really mean nothing to parents. And I’m no nutrionist or dietician but wholegrains in Coco Pops really ain’t going to compare in the health stakes to porridge, oats or even Weet-Bix.

This isn’t the first time I’ve posted about Woolworths, the self proclaimed fresh food people – doing something that has left a bitter taste in my mouth.

In March 2008 I was duped by their Organic brand.

I know I can visit another supermarket but when you realize that market in Australia is really a two horse race I don’t feel very confident.

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