Friday, June 6, 2008

The Peeps Visit Key Food

How do Marshmallow Peeps make their selection of what food they eat? How do they navigate the grocery shopping experience? Inspired by the Millikin University Peeps Research study, we decided to follow a pair of them one day and find out.

As we would do, the Peeps exit their apartment building. Note the lack of any money or shopping cart.

Clearly the Peeps don't take their shopping trips too seriously, choosing instead to use the excursions as an opportunity to have fun. Here they were looking for their favorite Veggie Tales character, Larry the Cucumber, in the produce section.

It is unknown what the Peeps were looking for in the onion bin; however, it was observed that they did need to leave the bin once they began to cry, a reaction shared by Peeps and humans to raw onions.

It was heartening to observe the Peeps reading nutrition labels on various yogurt containers, presumably checking calorie counts, ingredients, and freshness dates. Clearly the low-fat, high-dairy propaganda dispensed by the US government has made its way to the Peeps.

On the flip side, the Peeps are not immune to advertising gimmicks and special offers. Here they are seen reading about the special offer on a box of cereal. It should also be noted that the Peeps were interested in sweetened cereal only, perhaps indicating that they watch too much children's television.

The Peeps do love to drink water, and are seen here checking out the price of their favorite brand.

Not surprisingly, the Peeps spent the most time in the aisle with cookies and other sweets. Their first stop was to fulfill a family obligation, saying hello to their cousins.

They then appeared surprised and delighted to discover a new member of the family. It should be noted that no reading of nutrition labels took place at this time.

Finally, the Peeps enjoyed a ride on the conveyor belt on their way out of the store.

Despite their small size, the Peeps showed no fear of being overlooked and stepped on as they exited the store to begin the journey home. It should be pointed out that they, like many New Yorkers, took advantage of the delivery service offered by the store, so they did not have to carry the groceries themselves. This may explain the high concentration of Peeps populations found in U.S. cities as compared to suburban and rural areas.

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