Grazing at the Supermarket: Would You Stop It?

PHOTO: We hired two actors and watched as they devoured a supermarket produce aisle.ABC News
We hired two actors and watched as they devoured a supermarket produce aisle.

In the News: Grazers.

It's a supermarket industry term for shoppers who sample the goods on store shelves before deciding whether to buy them.

Technically it's theft… and it does cost the stores money…although most markets are reluctant to stop that guy from grabbing a grape in aisle five…or that mom from cracking open the cookies in aisle seven.

But the problem isn't going away.

One survey found that one in five shoppers freely admit to grazing.

The Grazers Scenario: The term "starving actors" will not apply to this scenario.

We hired two actors and watched as they devoured a supermarket produce aisle.

They feasted on the fruit section at Stew Leonard's in Yonkers to see what other shoppers would say.

Our actors, one woman and one man, received different treatment despite being guilty of the same offense. Male customers, for instance, were more forgiving of the female fruit taster.

But both were confronted by angry shoppers who were offended by the actors, concerned about the possibility of germs being spread or who viewed the actors' grazing as theft.

What They Said:

"I just take like one out of everything. It's not like anyone will miss it." – grazing actress

"It's not hygienic…You're eating fruit there and other people have to buy them…I think it's a disgrace." – disgusted customer

"I was about to call the cops… She's stealing!" – shopper ready to take action

Watch the scenario unfold on on the latest episode of "What Would You Do?"

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