The Info Is In The Bag

What's The Connection Between Reusable Bags And Junk Food?

Posted June 26, 2015 custom printed bagsIt's a pretty indisputable fact: plastic bags are bad for the environment. Every year, U.S. men and women use about 100 billion plastic bags, and producing that many bags requires 12 million barrels of oil. What's more, many of these bags are discarded, and Americans end up tossing 185 pounds of plastic annually. Thankfully, more shoppers are making the shift to reusable bags, including custom printed bags, printed tote bags, and environmentally friendly bags.

Do Consumers Using Reusable Bags Shop Differently?
A recent Harvard study took a closer look at this trend to see what consumers using reusable totes, like custom printed bags, purchase in comparison to shoppers that opt for traditional, plastic grocery bags (still the overwhelming majority at 90%). The findings were pretty unexpected... sort of. Unsurprisingly, shoppers using canvas bags, fabric totes, and other environmentally friendly bags were also more likely to buy organic fruits and vegetables than their peers. On the other hand, "people were more likely to pick up a bag of chips, box of cookies, or pint of ice cream if they had their reusable bags with them," according to CBS.

What's the connection? Apparently, many of us reward good deeds or more accomplishments with indulgences. The researchers explain that it is very similar to eating a large cheeseburger or several slices of pizza after a strenuous workout.

Is It Inevitable?
While the study is illuminating and interesting, it's not a set of guidelines or rules set in stone. First, treats and indulgences in moderation are okay. Watch your portions, and you'll be just fine. Also keep this effect and research in mind, and think twice before loading reusable bags with sugary treats and junk foods on every single trip to the grocery store.

Do reusable totes and shopping bags motivate consumers to shop differently? Apparently, the answer is yes. These shoppers are, oddly enough, the most likely to purchase organic produce and ice cream, chips, and pizza.