Disruptive Sweetness: Sugar and Impulse Buying in Early Supermarket Design, 1930s-60s

The Global Food and Environment Institute (GFEI) invites you to join our January 2024 webinar.

During this talk, Professor Andrew Warnes, School of English, University of Leeds, will highlight a period of history at the start of supermarket popularity which is relevant to consumer purchasing habits today.

America visions of the self-service grocery store from the 1930s often emphasised their efficiency. Goods were often arranged alphabetically and one-way systems were often used to help shoppers move through the store smoothly and without interruption. By the mid-1950s, however, this original vision had more or less been replaced by a new drive toward “multi-directional” shopping. Governmental guidance often now advised storeowners on how to maximise “impulse” buys by distracting and keeping customers in store for a longer period. While there were numerous ideological reasons for this shift, it also reflected the increasing awareness among food product developers of the uses of sugar, and especially of its potential to stimulate impulse buying. In the presentation Andrew will point toward a few primary documents from the 1930s and 1950s to illustrate this shift. 

Welcome and introductions from the Chair, followed by a 20-minute webinar presented by Professor Andrew Warnes, and 10 minutes for Q&A.  The webinar will be chaired by Mingwen Xiao, Visiting Scholar, University of Leeds.

Register for free on Ticket Source.