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Episode 555: Why Is The Milk In The Back Of The Store?

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Episode 555: Why Is The Milk In The Back Of The Store?

Podcast

Episode 555: Why Is The Milk In The Back Of The Store?

Episode 555: Why Is The Milk In The Back Of The Store?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/494927147/494936843" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Tim Boyle/Getty Images
Planet Money wants to know: Why is the milk in the back of the store? (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Note: This episode originally aired in July 2014.

Milk is often in the very back corner of the grocery store, as far as humanly possible from the entrance. It's a strange location for milk, because it's one the most popular items.

A common explanation for this is that by forcing customers to walk through the whole store, they will pass more products and end up buying more. But is that really why the milk is in the back? Can you really have a business model intentionally built around inconveniencing your customers?

Today on the show, two big theories to answer this little question: Why is the milk in the back of the store? The theories reflect very different world views. To try to discover which is right, we host a friendly debate between a food writer, Michael Pollan, and an economist Russ Roberts.

Music: "Strange Brew" and "The King." Find us: Twitter/Facebook

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