Home Institution

Washington University

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


As obesity rates continue to climb around the world, an increased effort is needed to explore all means of prevention and intervention. Although previous research has examined the effectiveness of strategies like nutritional education, little research has been conducted surrounding the interplay of psychology and marketing within the context of grocery stores. As such, this paper examines the presence of psychological manipulation within grocery stores and the influence is has upon product choice, and ultimately consumption. Several key variables have been taken into account for this analysis, including store layout, location, product placement, packaging, and others, to provide a holistic understanding of the shopper’s experience. Although the marketing systems and displays within grocery stores were comparable between the United States (US) and Switzerland, the Swiss system was found to exhibit fewer profit-based marketing tactics. Moreover, strategies that are used in Switzerland were found to be less forceful. Further research should seek to examine why this is, how it relates to the profound difference in obesity rates, and also the average level of shopper’s awareness for these tactics.


Communication | Family, Life Course, and Society | Food Studies | Graphic Communications | International and Area Studies | Medicine and Health | Public Relations and Advertising