UX Observations #1: The supermarket bulk food aisle

You’re hungry, it’s been a long day at work and you’re keen to get some food supplies so you can go home, get the dinner on, put your feet up and watch another Rick and Morty episode.

Sound familiar? I’m sure you’re actually much more productive than me in the evening, but this was my state of mind when I ducked into my local supermarket to pick up some last minute supplies. I headed to the bulk bins to get a bag of almonds and a bag of dried dates for my breakfast muesli and thats when I came to face to face with…

The date scoop

The date scoop

Scooping forwards

Scooping forwards

Scooping sideways

Scooping sideways

The Date Scoop

The bulk bins all have the same type of plastic scoop to use to fill your bags. From dry, solid almonds to squishy, sticky dates. While scooping up a bagful of almonds is easy, scooping up even 5 dates proves to be a messy and frustrating process.
The dates stick to the scoop, the scoop smooshes the dates, and when you finally have enough dates or had enough of trying, the sticky date scoop goes back into the plastic slot to pick up whatever fluff or supermarket dust is tucked inside.


A set of tongs would do the job much better and surely more hygienically!

UX takeaway

Give users the tools they need for the job – not one tool for all purposes.

User testing the supermarket

This 1st July 2017 article from the NZ Herald discusses a new Auckland supermarket chain being launched in Auckland by Foodstuffs. “A new small-store chain in the Auckland region with an emphasis on selling fresh produce.”
The article shows some views of the prototype store developed to test the store layout and concept. As the article states: “Supermarkets are being challenged by ready-to-go meal options including My Food Bag and many other home-delivered meal solutions.”
In order to compete with these other options it is important for supermarkets to develop new strategies and creating a prototype is a great way to get stakeholder feedback!

NZ Herald article – Foodstuffs launches new Auckland supermarket chain
Title photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash
Photo by Clark Young on Unsplash