October 1, 2022

"Supermarket shoppers have been left baffled and annoyed by changes to store layouts that have made it harder to find their groceries."

"Chains have been hastily reorganising their aisles to meet the rules.... The regulations restrict the areas in which supermarkets may place products deemed to be high in fat, salt or sugar. Arguably the simplest rule is that no unhealthy food or drink can be displayed within two metres of a checkout or queueing area. But similar restrictions have been imposed on 'gondola displays' at the end of shopping aisles, island bin displays and other easy-to-reach spots. A formula based on floor size dictates unhealthy products’ proximity to the entrance, meaning there are different rules for each shop. The minimum distance is calculated by the square root of the area of the store multiplied by 0.03...."

The London Times reports.

The square root of the area of the store multiplied by 0.03?! They'd never try that in America — not just fat-shaming us by requiring math. Even just bringing up the concept of square roots is unthinkable in the land of the free. 

55 comments:

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Fussy religious legalist nonsense.

Once you start looking through the lens that leftie do-gooders are just rebranded religious fundies, you can't stop seeing it.

Let me get out this ruler at the school dance to ensure you kids aren't snuggling too close.

RideSpaceMountain said...

About time. Make the fat girls walk to the back for the Nutella. Crap, that was insensitive of me to tell fat girls to 'walks, let me rephrase. Make the fat girls waddle to the back for the Nutella.

Oh Yea said...

The horror! Expecting people to do middle school math.

Josephbleau said...

Wow. Three percent of the length of a square containing the area of the store. Rule by our intellectual superiors is just the thing.

Quaestor said...

Safety Nazis are real Nazis.

Joe Smith said...

Our local chain did a redo this year.

Liquor and wine is now front and center : )

The woman working that section tried to tell me that their margins on booze are tiny.

Pull the other one...

Big Mike said...

We mathematicians have our revenge at last!!!

Jersey Fled said...

Sheesh. Is there nothing Progressives can't screw up?

Rory said...

"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."

john said...

So for, say a Quickstop or a 7-11, which sells mostly fat, alcohol, softdrinks, candy, caffiene and gasoline, the minimum distance from the entrance would be, roughly, 0.9486 meters (feet?). Which is probably a bit more than the waist diameter of an overweight person. Sounds about right - we dont want them clogging the entrance and restricting commerce.

Wince said...

The minimum distance is 3% of the average interior wall length, essentially.

rhhardin said...

It has to be a square root or the units wouldn't work. The store size in in square feet, and a distance has to be in feet, so you have to take the square root of the store size.

Making it a little more obvious, that distance can be taken as the radius of a forbidden zone, whose area is again the square of that radius.

Basically, collapsing the steps, there's a forbidden circle area equal to .0009 of the store area, times pi of course.

rhhardin said...

The ocean offshore buffer zone around an island ought to be the square root of the land area, in a similar suggestion to deal with China's manmade islands all over. Rather than 12 miles or 200 miles.

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

The square root should really be called the root square... at the supermarket.

The supermarket root square.

madAsHell said...

I’ve been going to the Wedgwood Safeway for last 56 years.

If they EVER re-arrange the shelves.........

Yes, I did not go very far in life, but it’s a very desire-able place to live.

Temujin said...

"Even just bringing up the concept of square roots is unthinkable in the land of the free."

Well, for one, it reeks of white supremacy. It's racist at it's core.

Nothing like faceless government bureaucrats sitting in an office cubicle coming up with rules for how an independent business can display or market it's products.

Fred Drinkwater said...

The purpose, the ENTIRE purpose, of this type of pettifogging regulation, is to increase the number of government officials being paid to create and enforce them.

Yancey Ward said...

Pants, we have been wondering what happened to you!

Ambrose said...

I bet the milk is still furthest from the door ...

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

With all the obese people in one area of the store, it might be safer for the rest of the shoppers to get out in case of an emergency.

#StuffTrumpMightSayDuringDebatePrep

Ann Althouse said...

"Fussy religious legalist nonsense."

What? The entire history of the world?

tim maguire said...

Probably the biggest reason i shop at some stores over others is that i am familiar with the layout. I get really annoyed when they change it and i can't find anything.

So England has essentially outlawed the impulse aisle? I can't get to worked up about it, especially compared to other failures like Rotherham, but it's yet another indication of how far they've fallen--no meddling is too petty.

hugh42 said...

Where can you do whatever you want? There must be places. I got the impression that Hong Kong in the 70's was like that. When we find it we see how well it functions and assess it for characteristics like economic inefficiency and violence. We assign a coefficient of woke anger.

SteveWe said...

The government is trying to help you by restricting the proximity of your unhealthy foolishness. If that makes you unhappy, get a new government or grow some self control -- or both.

Tim said...

When our local Whole Foods opened, it was the largest in existence--45,000 square feet. That formula means that the unhealthy food has to be at least 6 feet (and change) from the entrance--so maybe two or three steps? Any closer and the display would be blocking traffic, but what a great opportunity for petty harassment.

Aggie said...

Well it's a stupid rule in a land of stupid rules, so.....

They recently re-arranged the products and the aisle layout of our local Kroger. It drove people nuts while they were doing it - took a couple of months - and it's still driving people nuts trying to track down where everything is again. Even worse, the new layout makes less sense than the old one, so you can't shop intuitively. One concludes it's a deliberate strategy to force customers to walk the store - which is why I'm shopping more at HEB, where sanity and sensibility reigns - for now.

ALP said...

This is almost as useless as the U.S. INCREASING THE FONT of the calorie count on the packaging. HAVE THEY TRIED THAT IN THE UK???

chuck said...

Walmart hides away the healthy, high fat stuff. I can't decide if it is lack a demand or manipulation. I remember when they were pushing twisty light bulbs, remember those?

Kate said...

It's very First World but I've started ordering my groceries online. For a (not terrible) annual subscription someone does my shopping for me and drives it to my house. The stores here, especially in the winter, are so crowded. Except for the weird feeling of having a stranger bring bags into my kitchen, I think I like it.

That solves the floorplan and shelf layout problem, that's for sure.

Jupiter said...

"They'd never try that in America."

Don't ever say or think that again. About anything. There is nothing the Enemy won't try. Nothing.

effinayright said...

SteveWe said...
The government is trying to help you by restricting the proximity of your unhealthy foolishness. If that makes you unhappy, get a new government or grow some self control -- or both.
******************

Steve, you Fucking Food Fascist-----we don't your or the government's fucking help.

effinayright said...

john said...
So for, say a Quickstop or a 7-11, which sells mostly fat, alcohol, softdrinks, candy, caffiene and gasoline, the minimum distance from the entrance would be, roughly, 0.9486 meters (feet?). Which is probably a bit more than the waist diameter of an overweight person. Sounds about right - we dont want them clogging the entrance and restricting commerce.
**************

I'm sure SteveWe woud abolish all such "convenience" stores and burger chains in his Better World, a world controlled by him and his fellow Food Fascists.

"Here, have some kale, bugs and Soylent Green--they're good for you."

JaimeRoberto said...

It's easier to impose rules like this when you use the metric system.

Yancey Ward said...

Coming soon the fatty high sugar foods will be electrified to administer electric shocks.

Gahrie said...

Where can you do whatever you want? There must be places.

Unfortunately not anymore. However that's about to change. SpaceX's Starship, if put up for sale, will be this century's Conestoga wagon. I expect most of the private ventures to head straight for the asteroid belt. For a while at least there will be a frontier with frontier ethics. Hopefully space is big enough that there will always be somewhere else to go when the control freaks show up.

Gahrie said...

It's easier to impose rules like this when you use the metric system.

Or you have a nation of subjects instead of citizens. There is a difference and it does matter.

Joe Bar said...

"Even just bringing up the concept of square roots is unthinkable in the land of the free. "

This reminds me of the time I drove through the Town Where They Cannot Do Fractions. A fast food operator tried to convince that a 1/4 pound hamburger was larger than a 1/3 pound hamburger, because 4 was larger than 3. She even brought her manager over, who agreed. I was dumfounded, and just shook my head and left.

ccscientist said...

And we trust gov to decide which food is unhealthy why? The gov that came up with the food pyramid and said eat only margarine not butter? That said eggs are bad but now good? No thanks.

Jim at said...

The government is trying to help you by restricting the proximity of your unhealthy foolishness.

Good parody isn't so obvious.

hawkeyedjb said...

Fred Drinkwater said...
"The purpose, the ENTIRE purpose, of this type of pettifogging regulation, is to increase the number of government officials being paid to create and enforce them."

Yes, exactly. And that goes for all "diversity" efforts as well.

Mikey NTH said...

It seems the "where did they move what I am shopping for now" isn't just a Michigan thing.

BudBrown said...

They dont want these distractions from the lottery tickets. Tho they did raise the age of legal buyers from 16 to 18. The 16 year olds were buying lottery tickets instead of junk food?

Breezy said...

Shaming didn’t work, putting nutritional data on labels didn’t work, COVID didn’t work, so yeah let’s try minimizing the availability of all the yummy stuff. That’s sure to work. And all the grocers lose customers and money too. Win-win. The less food, the fewer people. The point is we must all go without. No yummies, no energy, no money, no weapons, no thinking, no opinions, no reality.

Freeman Hunt said...

0.03?! Oh, no! They've gotten it all wrong. That's the fat-maximizing factor. The real line is at 0.04, and if you want to get technical about it, 0.042 * the smallest hypotenuse made by any quadrilateral in the footprint of the customer-occupued area of the store divided by two. This is the precise health-maximizing, fat-minimizing factor as defined by the National Institutes of Movement, Breath, and Svelte.

Howard said...

I prefer private enterprise free market capitalist pig stores whom stock different brands of the same shit in different aisles and posting unit pricing of the same shit in different units all designed to make price comparisons harder to figure out. FREEDOM 🤪

MadTownGuy said...

Gahrie said...

"Where can you do whatever you want? There must be places.

Unfortunately not anymore. However that's about to change. SpaceX's Starship, if put up for sale, will be this century's Conestoga wagon. I expect most of the private ventures to head straight for the asteroid belt. For a while at least there will be a frontier with frontier ethics. Hopefully space is big enough that there will always be somewhere else to go when the control freaks show up.
"

Sounds like "The Expanse" series, where the Belters are the underclass, and dysfunction rules the corporate and public spheres.

Big Mike said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Fussy religious legalist nonsense."

What? The entire history of the world?


Nope. Just the part of the history of the world after some smart, kleptocratic, members of h. sapiens discovered that by setting themselves up as priests they could get people to give them things and not have to work.

Bunkypotatohead said...

"They'd never try that in America."

When I cross the border into Missouri, the first thing I encounter is a fireworks retailer. Right next to it is a liquor store.
I don't think those folks are gonna let anyone tell them where to put the junk food aisle.

Bunkypotatohead said...

"They'd never try that in America."

When I cross the border into Missouri, the first thing I encounter is a fireworks retailer. Right next to it is a liquor store.
I don't think those folks are gonna let anyone tell them where to put the junk food aisle.

brentfinley said...

Fat bottomed girls
You make the shopping world go round.
Get on your bikes and ride!

Yancey Ward said...

Howard, everyone here knows you have the Cheetos and the Ding Dongs delivered by Amazon because your fat ass doesn't go anywhere.

Jamie said...

[shrug] My HEB (and HEB rules the grocery world, right, Aggie?) just replaced all their small, 2-tier carts with medium sized 1-tier carts. I am annoyed. But their tortillas and the various Central Market store brand stuff is awesome so I'll adjust.

My father-in-law, when he visits from California, comes to HEB with me every time I make run, just to stand in front of the meat counter.

gadfly said...

The first problem, as I see it, is to define what an unhealthy product is. The second problem is to prepare a listing of all such products, carefully including any and all possible names, sizes, brands, etc. Lastly, an entire government agency will have to be formed and funded to officially add or subtract changes to the list and to codify the administration of the data using the world's largest computer.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

"Fussy religious legalist nonsense."

What? The entire history of the world?


No, Sunny Jim, the topic you wrote about? Nice to see you again too, by the way.

Hi Yancey! Hope you and the gang are doing great. I sharply curtailed my internettin' but randomly thought of Althouse and thought I'd come by. I see nothing much has changed. Y'all be well!

Rusty said...

gadfly said...
"The first problem, ...." The first problem is that the people writing these regulations think you're dumber than a bag of donuts. The second problem is that some of are dumber than a bag of donuts and you vote for people like Biden.
I wonder what it's like not knowing how to think for ones self.