Here in Louisiana, we are a God-fearing people. We know and follow "The Big Ten", I'm talking about Commandments not the bush-league gathering of college football teams that inhabit the Midwest. One of those "Thou Shalt Nots" references the act of taking something that doesn't belong to you. But, in the case of grocery store grapes would the "Man Upstairs" and Donnie Rouse look the other way?

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We mention Donnie Rouse because he and his family run one of Louisiana's finest supermarket chains, Rouses. If you've spent any time in Louisiana, or the Gulf South then the chances are that you've paid a visit to one of their locally stocked markets. One thing a great grocery store like Rouses prides itself on is the freshest produce available. So it can be pretty tempting to want to sneak a taste of a grape or a strawberry before we pay for them at the checkout line.

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But is that really what we should be doing?

Before we delve into the legality of grape and other fruit sampling, let's take a look at some numbers you're probably not aware of. Did you know on average, 80 grapes make up a  pound? The average price for Thompson Seedless Grapes in Louisiana is $2.24. So, the average cost for a single grape is 2.8 cents. Let's say you ate two grapes while shopping, let's round that to an even nickel even though it's a little bit more than that.

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What's a nickel to today's modern grocery store chains?

Well if you were the only one sampling the grapes then it would just be five cents. But on an average day in America, more than 32 million people will go to the grocery store for various items, what if they all took two grapes? Holy Granola Batman! You could almost buy a Congressman with that kind of money. Since I know you're wondering that's about $1.6 million dollars in unpaid grapes per day.

Taylor Deas Melesh via Unsplash.com
Taylor Deas Melesh via Unsplash.com
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So, you probably figured out that sampling fruit without permission in the grocery store is not really welcomed by store managers. But not all grocery stores see it as a bad thing. There is a form of marketing called "experiential". Basically, let the customer try before they buy and they're likely to buy even more. But stores that practice this usually limit their "experience" to a grape or two or some other small fruit. I don't think they'd let you bust open a watermelon just for the same vibe.

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From what we've determined most of Louisiana's grocery stores will look the other way if you sneak a taste but if you start to sneak more than a taste it can and will be looked upon as stealing. And let's face it, none of us want to spend an extra few minutes haggling with St Peter at the Pearly Gates over a couple of grapes, do we?

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Timo Volz via Unsplash.com
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Remember, your character is who you are when no one is looking but if you haven't noticed, there are cameras all over today's modern grocery stores, so they're looking at you. Oh, and those grapes haven't been washed either. There's probably the biggest reason you should not snack on grapes in the store, blech.

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