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The Washington Post reports this morning that supermarkets across the country are working harder and harder to capture the attention of children, knowing that if the kids want to come to the store, moms and dads will, too -- and are likely to spend more time and money there.

These distractions range from plastic racecars attached to the fronts of standard-size shopping carts, to pint-sized shopping carts, computer games, and even (at least at Stew Leonard’s) dancing bananas.

Greg Kahn, CEO of Kahn Research Group LLC, tells the Post that parents tend to spend 10 to 40 percent more if the kids are with them and in a relatively good mood…and that the number is higher if the father does the shopping.

However, William Doherty, a family social science professor at the University of Minnesota, tells the Post that this trend actually suggests parental inadequacy and incompetence.
KC's View:
We think that Mr. Doherty clearly spends too much time studying family social science and not nearly enough time actually dealing with the little monsters. Get over yourself, man!

We have only one reservation about this trend. We think that it is a shame that supermarkets are focusing on “distractions,” as opposed to developing “attractions” that are keyed to food. Wouldn’t it be nice if supermarkets to develop kids-friendly sections that allowed them to interact with food, teaching them how to shop smarter, to cook better, to eat more wisely?