Sniffing Out Bigger Sales

Sniffing Out Bigger Sales

Food & Drink

Sniffing Out Bigger Sales


You’ve heard of paying through the nose, but do you buy your groceries that way?

A New York area supermarket apparently thinks you do. NetCost Market, a grocery chain with stores in Brooklyn and Staten Island, N.Y., has installed high-tech machines in its Brooklyn store that pump out aromas including “smoky bacon,” “rosemary focaccia” and “Lindt chocolate.” That’s according to a report by James Covert in the New York Post.

The machines put out the scents, the shoppers get in the mood to buy—at least that’s the idea. And according to merchandising coordinator Angelina Khristichenko it seems to be working. She told the Post, “Because of the scents, I think fruit sales are up 7 to 8 percent.” The produce department odor machine has been emitting strawberry and pink grapefruit fragrances, she says.

The aromatic machines are made by ScentAir and can be adjusted from a light and subtle scent to a full blast setting that’s in your face (or up your nostrils).

The sales gains in the meat, bread and candy departments have been more modest since the chain first turned on the scent machines in May. But Khristichenko says store management believes the sales momentum has been building steadily.

Customers interviewed for Covert’s story noticed the smells but weren’t sure the piped in aromas caused them to buy any more than they normally would have.

It will be interesting to see if some of the larger chains will be following suit. I guess it will depend on whether NetCost enjoys the sweet smell of success by leading its customers by the nose.

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