Stores That Should Not Sell Food

May 29, 2014   51 Comments

Snack Girl loves to shop for certain things. I enjoy looking at power tools, women’s fashion, and swim goggles.

Junk Food in Home Depot

I don’t actually buy power tools very often but when I look at them, I go to the Home Depot or other home store that carries stuff like lumber, paint, lawnmowers, appliances, window treatments, nails, and junk food. What?

Yes, you read it right. When I hit Home Depot for my latest home improvement project, I picked up a Snickers and some Combos because looking at all the stuff makes me hungry.

After shopping at Home Depot yesterday, I dropped by JC Penney because I needed some new shorts, I found this:

I bought some chocolate because shopping for shorts is SO stressful. I got a good deal on the shorts so the chocolate was almost free!

Finally, I needed some swim goggles as summer is coming up and I don’t like to get chlorine in my eyes. And I needed a kick board and some running shoes, which I purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

All that sports stuff made me thirsty, so I picked up a 20 ounce Pepsi at the check out counter.

I only spent $300 and ate 1000 calories – look at me go!

I can’t tell you how frustrated I am by all this high calorie, low nutrition JUNK absolutely everywhere that I look. Here I am, trying to be healthy and it seems that all of the retailers (even ones that don’t typically sell food) are attempting to trip me up.

We are not a nation of people walking around hungry all the time. A recent study says that we have increased our calorie intake by 500 calories per day since the 1970's. Most of us need less food - not more.

Dear readers, I am taking a stand. I found the e-mail for the CEO of Home Depot, Frank Blake and the CEO of JC Penney, Myron Ullman. I found the snail mail address for Edward Stack (billionaire and CEO of Dick’s). I have decided to write a letter of protest to these company heads and ask them to remove the junk food.
Edward Stack
CEO, Dick's Sporting Goods
345 Court St.
Coraopolis, PA 15108

Shouldn’t the impulse items in these stores be tape measurers, nail polish, or pedometers?

How much could this crappy food be contributing to their bottom line? I am doubtful that I will get a response but it is worth a try.

Have you noticed food in stores that shouldn’t be selling it?

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 51 )

I guess it started with the hot dog cart beside the front door of Home Depot. And it has grown. a lot! This is one reason I choose to shop at smaller, non chain stores. The best way to avoid junk food at the check out is to shop online Oh dear!

would love to some healthy snacks in there for us who are sometimes not prepared for the

on-slaught of junk food no matter where we are.

Remember the slogan, "JUST SAY NO"

A different take on another slogan, "Food doesn't kill people, people kill people."

My slogan, plain and simple is STOP EATING JUNK

Snack Girl, I love love love to read your posts. You always make me smile BUT while I agree that these food items are indeed junk and are everywhere we look, I don't agree that these stores should refrain from selling them. Stores have a right to sell what they want and as Americans, we have the choice to buy or not to buy these items. People should take responsibility for themselves instead of trying to force everyone else to change in order to make it "easier" for them to make sensible choices. Why do we blame the Big Box Stores if WE decide to pick up the snickers bar? Just because it is there, doesn't mean we have to buy it. If I owned a retail store and someone complained about what I was selling, I would kindly ask them to shop elsewhere. It's their choice and their choice should not infringe on my rights to decide what items I sell. I am not saying it's always easy to not buy this tempting junk, but ultimately WE have to make the decision for ourselves to do what's right.

Michael's craft store as well as Justice and Old Navy clothing stores also have candy at check out.

Fran you are sooo right!!!!

SG - You didn't say, but I am assuming there was someone who was forcing you to buy that junk. I see the same items in the stores here however, I simply choose to walk right by that garbage. I don't see why it is the store's fault if people has no self control. This country has developed a dangerous mindset that any bad decision they make is not their fault. If we spent a fraction of the energy we do on blaming others and instead focused on owning up to our choices then maybe we wouldn't have half of the issues we do now.

Thanks for a humorous look at the commercialization of food, SG, it was a welcome start to my day. While I tend to agree with your other readers who point out that no one is forced to buy or eat junk food, I remember your reference in "Snack Girl to the Rescue" to Dr. Kessler's book, "The End of Overeating". I followed your suggestion and bought his book and what an eye opener it is. While he (and you) don't advocate for a nanny state or the end of personal accountability, we can't ignore the food industry has mastered the art of altering brain chemistry by skillfully combing fat, sugar, and salt to create foods as addictive as narcotics. I know I have to be responsible enough to put the fork down, to walk past the junk food without buying it, to bypass the candy dish in the office, and to fill my grocery cart with fruits and veggies, but the continual onslaught of merchandising of JUNK FOOD does not make it easy. When you consider how few of us take the time to read books like yours or Dr. Kessler's, is it any wonder we are an obese nation, trapped in a cycle of eating foods that trigger us to eat more even when we don't need the calories? What changed since the 1970's? Lots, but for one thing, I was never able to buy candy at Penney's or Macy's.

Thanks again for a thought provoking post, keep them coming!

I tend to agree with the group. The stores have the right to sell the junk (not food) in their stores. Its a matter of perception on you buying though. I have changed my mind set to only buy food in food stores. I don't contradict where I by junk either. If I'm in a sporting goods store then I'm not going junk. When a craving comes on I tell myself to get I have to go to where it should be sold at. This takes the fun out of the craving because now I have to go out my way. Nope not going to have it so I get past it. Also, if I need a drink - water is always the go to.

I do not think SG was saying that stores could not sell what they want. In fact, all stores sell what some people want, not just what they want, or they would not be in business. If we, enough of us consumers want something healthy or clever, like a pedometer, at the checkout, then stores will sell it. SG, did you really buy all that junk or are you just suggesting that we who like healthy stuff let the store know? Sure we can just say no, but perhaps stores might make even more profit if they offered different check out products.

First of all, I can't imagine eating a Snickers, Combos, a chocolate bar and a Pepsi all in one short shopping trip, let alone in one matter where it was sold. These items are also sold in the grocery stores where we all shop, so what is the difference? If you were to succumb to that way of thinking, then grocery stores should not be allowed to sell anything other than edible items. This is akin to banning large size sodas in New York. Same as smoking....there are cigarettes behind practically every type of store checkout, but I would never buy them. If you don't want it, don't buy it.

Occasionally I might succomb to a snack attack in say Lowe's (rather than HD), but I agree, people make their own choices to buy or not. If you look at the Pepsi cooler, you will see lots of water (my fav bev besides vino) and who doesn't need an icy cold water after loading up on plants, plumbing supplies and paint? As a sister MA resident, I think our state is trying to legislate WAY too much around lifestyle choices rather than focusing on the big issues like education. Jumping off the ole soapbox, have to say I LOVE YOU Snack Girl! Question - - are you a successful WW lifer?

My son noticed the Godiva Chocolate bar on the counter when we went into Kohl's so that I could buy a slip for an upcoming occasion. I bought the candy bar..$3.50 I could have saved. He quickly forgot about the candy bar and I ended up eating it in a moment of weakness. Lesson learned!

I understand the concerns about freedom and unwanted legislation, but there is also the question of the quality of a shopping experience. What if stores just stuck to their knitting? Rather than offering Godiva bars for $3.50, Penny put out small perfumes or men's socks in bright color? Or Home Depot, put out a mixed-sized nail package or a new type of tape? Just think, who is it really that wants all that junk food in our face?

have some god damn self control jesus! just because its there doesnt mean you have to buy it. these snacks are called impulse buys and you all fall for big businesses trap to get an extra couple dollars out of you before leaving the store.

I think it's funny that people actually think you ate all that junk. I wrote a similar blog a year or two ago because Sears and a few other unexpected stores also sell snacks. I just find it a strange marketing ploy.

I didn't eat all the food - I was trying to be funny and explain how easy it is to eat at every venue that I visited. I'm sorry that my humor missed for some of you. Please continue to discuss this issue in a respectful manner.

I try to pack things to go with me in the car whenever I am out doing errands. healthy snacks, water and save some money for a "splurge" like iced coffee with skim milk and stevia.

Snack Girl - THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the enlightening and ironic start to my day (since I KNOW you didn't buy and eat all the junk that you detailed in your post) - the point was certainly made about how easily these snacks are available to the average consumer (and said consumer's children, who are so often targeted with these products at their eye level)!

Would you consider sharing the email and snail mail addresses of these CEOs for those of us who wish to join you in a letter-writing campaign to let them know that their blatant ploys to increase profits at the expense of the health of their customers have been noticed. While the choice of whether to purchase these "edible" items is certainly up to the individual, having them "in your face" at every turn is unnecessary.

I also recommend to you and all your readers, the new documentary that has just been released, called "Fed Up" which addresses issues just like this. It's no wonder that North America is in the midst of an obesity epidemic when retail giants are more than willing to offer sugary, salty, additive-laden junk food at their checkout counters.

Carry on and fight the good fight, Snack Girl! Health and real food for all!

@Mary Frances - These addresses are publicly available

Edward Stack
CEO, Dick's Sporting Goods
345 Court St.
Coraopolis, PA 15108

Thanks for the address of the CEO's, Lisa! I will write too and tell them how they can do better business!

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