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Kalpesh Desai

the supermarket u

What do you do to shop healthier? Here are some ideas from Kalpesh Desai’s research: n Use

cash.

n Leave

the kids at home, the phone in the car and the friends at the coffee shop.

“Consumers are fairly accurate in estimating the number of items in their cart and the amount of money they spend,” Desai says. “They’re very much aware of their decisions.”

n Get

a good night’s sleep first, and avoid shopping after a hard day at work.

n Use

a smaller basket. When it’s full, you’re done.

But without some extra disincentive, they just can’t put down that guilty pleasure. And that extra disincentive is the immediate pain of parting with paper, the green kind. The delayed pain of credit cards just isn’t enough. Other factors can also lure you away from your shopping list, Desai says. In a second paper now going through peer review, Desai argues that distracted or tired shoppers are more likely to cave in to temptation. A cell phone call, your kids or friend, even music can interrupt the thought process that helps you remember that you don’t need those potato chips.

make your purchases and give you a break on your premiums for using cash for groceries.

“We live in a fast-paced world and the ability to think is a luxury,” Desai says. “You’re unable to resist that impulse.”

If a store were to discount your bill 3 or 4 percent for using cash — about the same as the transaction fee it pays the credit card company — it would take in the same amount of money per transaction. And if that money is in higher mark-up healthy foods, it gets more profit. And you eat healthier.

Impact Binghamton research can help you lose weight, eat healthier foods and have nicer skin.

When it comes to groceries, paper is definitely better than plastic.

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Binghamton University • BINGHAMTON RESEARCH • Winter 2014

Your health insurance company could help, Desai says, in conjunction with your friendly, neighborhood junk food dealer. He gathered much of his data from studies that analyzed purchases recorded via store loyalty cards. Health insurers could work with grocers to monitor how you

Even more directly, a store could give you a discount for paying in cash. Fresh foods — fruits, veggies, fresh meats and dairy — often carry more profit than the canned, bagged and heavily processed junk food.

Binghamton University / Research Magazine / Winter 2014  

In this issue of Binghamton Research, you’ll see how Binghamton University faculty members are capitalizing on Big Data’s potential to impro...