What Your Grocery Bag Says About You

Have you ever noticed the difference in how you feel when carrying a shopping bag from a high-end retailer like Harrods, versus a mass retailer like Wal-Mart? While most people would deny purposely showing off their bag in public when they make a luxury purchase, the reality is, just about all of us are guilty. Irregardless of whether or not one is intentionally showing off, you must admit it feels nice to walk around with a bag that tells the world you can afford nice things. Grocery bags are no different.

While living in Sydney, Australia I became a loyal shopper of the specialty grocer, Thomas Dux Grocer. "The Dux," as it is affectionately called, stocks a variety of specialty, artisanal and organic products -- things that you might not find in a regular supermarket. 

After following the retailer on Instagram, I noticed that a lot of shoppers were posting #groceryhaul style photos of their purchases with the iconic Thomas Dux bag. Although the brown paper bag is a rather simple design, it has a modern farmer's market look and feel that appeals to me. It must appeal to a lot of others as well as evidenced by the great effort that many seem to put into styling their Instagram photos showcasing the bag. If you do a quick search on Instagram, it becomes obvious that shoppers must feel a sense of pride in displaying their choices from the Dux -- often healthy choices, like fresh fruits and vegetables. I'll admit it, I too felt good walking out of my local Thomas Dux in Crows Nest with a flat white in one hand and the other holding onto a couple of bags from the Dux. The psychological impact of shopping bags is not limited to the paper or plastic variety provided at the supermarket; it also applies to the bags shoppers bring themselves.

In an effort to use less plastic or save trees, more shoppers today are opting to bring their own recycled bags. These too have a psychological effect on not only the shopper, but also those around them. Here in Washington, DC I often observe a lot of trendy, reusable shopping bags, such as the the french style jute totes and canvas bags with fun quotes. My local Whole Foods Market even sells reusable shopping bags with local graphics or sayings about values that validate shoppers as making wise, healthy choices.

The simple grocery bag can be a powerful marketing tool for retailers; shoppers who tote them are after all walking advertisements for your brand. Grocery retailers, how is your store's grocery bag impacting shoppers? Do your bags resonate with them? Are shoppers proud to carry your branded bag? Notice if your customers are posting grocery haul photos on social media. Let me know what you think by tweeting to me at @LisaMabe

-- Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, Founder, Green Purse PR