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Why Do Grocery Stores Have Water Misters in the Produce Department?

By Ferdi Vol
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Whenever shopping for fresh vegetables in your local grocery stores, you must have noticed a water mister watching over the produce department. The water mister is often found spraying water over the fresh fruits and vegetables every once in a while. But, why do grocery stores have water misters in their produce department

Despite being uprooted, fresh fruits and vegetables can retain moisture in their skin via osmosis and the transportation of water. This extra moisture makes them look plumper and fresher. The constant spraying of water helps them to retain the excess moisture and increase their shell life in the process.

The grocery stores are super conscious about the overall shell life of their products. That's why they will often hire a separate water mister to look after the fresh fruits and vegetables. So, let's take a look at some of the ways the water mister helps out grocery stores and the produce department.

Why Grocery Shops Have Water Misters in their Produce Department?

With the number of products that grocery shops have to deal with daily, it can be really hard to watch over the organic products separately. Again, since they have an incredibly low shell life compared to the processed products, they need better preservation procedures. Unless they are taken care of properly, grocery shops can lose thousands of dollars’ worth of organic products every day.

That's where the role of a water mister comes in. By constantly looking over the produce department, they prove to be one of the most integral parts of grocery store management. Here's an in-depth descriptive analysis on how the water misters take care of the produce department:

1. Keeping the products fresh

The customers must find fresh and green products while shopping in the produce department. The water misters ensure that the best of the products are always on display. No one wants to see dry and wilted fruits or vegetables in the produce department and neither do they want to buy such products.

As a result, the water misters always check out the products that are on the display to make sure that they are of quality. They bring out the freshest of them in the front to create a more alluring and inviting product section. Again, if some products are way too damaged and unusable, they dispose of them and get better ones. 

There's a protocol in most grocery stores to find a better use of organic products if they are on the verge of losing their freshness. The water misters try their best to preserve and prolong the overall freshness by constantly spraying water over them. If the products start to lack freshness over time, they put them in a separate category to find a better use of them before they rot.

2. Retaining the moisture

Like most other organic beings, water is an integral part of the nutrition process of plants and trees. The ground-based fruits and veggies get their required minerals and water directly from the, well, ground i.e., soil. In other cases, the roots take up the necessary nourishments to the fruits via the xylem and phloem connective channels within the tree.

The water absorption process in this way happens via osmosis mainly and transportation at times. And the process stops once the fruit or vegetables are uprooted and lose their connection to the soil. However, it's possible to provide some extra moisture manually within a limited time frame after uprooting.

That's why the water misters constantly spray water in the produce section. This excess water can help to retain the overall moisture of the products a little longer than usual. Without it, the products would lose their moisture and become dry and inedible within hours of plucking.

3. Glistening Appearance

Now, this is a bit of a great marketing ploy. If you haven't noticed this already, well, people respond better to things with an aesthetic appeal to them. They are more likely to buy something shiny and fresh-looking, rather than going for wilted products.

It's the job of the water mister to take care of stuff like this. Grocery shops will often have different lighting over their product section. When the water misters spray water over the fresh products, this lighting helps to create a glistening appearance over the product aisles. 

As a result, people seem to believe that the products are more likely to be fresh and full of moisture. It's a neat little trick designed to appeal to human psychology and water misters help to carry it out.

4. Increasing the shelf life of the products 

The more shelf life a product has, the longer grocery shops can keep them on the display for customers to purchase. Thus, better shell life is directly proportional to the overall profit policy of the retailers. Organic products usually have a much lesser shelf life than processed and canned products.

So, it's in the grocery shops best interest to increase the overall shelf life of the produce section. But since it's impossible for them to be constantly vigilant over a single department, they hire a water mister to help them out with this. They (the water misters) look after the fresh fruits and veggies constantly and retain the moisture by spraying water over them. 

In addition to retaining moisture and increasing the overall shelf life of the products, they also replace the unusable and damaged products of the aisle. They put the best items on the display to grab the customers attention.

5. Ensuring proper hydration 

Even though the main job of the water misters is to spray water over the products, that's not all of it. A water mister requires the proper knowledge of hydration for every fruit and vegetable in the produce department. They need to know how much misting or spraying of water needs to be done and at what interval, to secure the maximum longevity of the products. 

Misting is done so that the fresh products don't lose their moisture and wilt. But if the level of misting is high, it can do worse than good. Excess moisture can breed unwanted growth of mould and bacteria in the soft and squishy products. For example - the insides of a pumpkin.

In addition to mould, it can also rot a lot faster than usual or initiate Legionnaires disease in the produce. So, a water mister must have proper knowledge of hydration to prevent negative outcomes like this. 

6. Helping out the customers from time to time 

Having a water mister around the produce department can help out the customers as well. They can guide the customers to the products they are looking for and help them to choose from them. 

People do appreciate it when someone genuinely tries to help them out in situations like this. And the more customers have positive engagement with store staff the better. 

What Happens if the Produce Department Lacks a Water Mister?

So far, I have discussed the importance of a water mister in a grocery store, and now I'd like to mention how a store suffers from the absence of a water mister. 

Overall management is hampered

Let's face it, the grocery stores are a part of a large retailer’s community that deals with hundreds of thousands of products every day. It's virtually not possible for a single management committee to look after all the products at the same time. As a result, often they incur a heavy loss on organic products since they failed to take proper care of them.

In the absence of a water mister who can maintain fragile products like the organic ones, the rate of loss for the grocery stores would go way higher than usual.

Products get wilted way faster

If a water mister isn't present to spray water over the fresh fruits and veggies timely, then the products fail to retain their moisture and wilt faster than usual. Wilted products look less visually pleasing and people often refuse to buy such products. 

Thus, without a water mister, the produce department wouldn't have such a fresh and glistening appearance to it. 

Products are more prone to moulds and diseases

This happens when an automated watering machine is used instead of a proper water mister. Since automated machines aren't sentient, they cannot realize how much water definite produce may need. As a result, some of the products are susceptible to excessive moisture when they don't need it. 

Without a water mister to look over situations like these personally, the excess moisture can cause mould and diseases in the organic products.

Less customer engagement 

Many customers, especially new ones to the store appreciate some personal inputs while buying groceries. Since the water misters have a general knowledge of the products in the produce section, they can help out the customers on their trips. 

Without a water mister, people might lack proper guidance and less customer engagement often leads to a decrease in sales.

So, why do grocery stores have water misters in their produce department? The reasons should be crystal clear by now. When maintaining large stores like the grocery ones, proper management is key. And a water mister is an important cog of the maintenance wheel who helps to keep everything afloat.

With much dedication and experience, they manage everything in the produce department and keep the products green and fresh for all of the customers.

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About the Grocery Store Academy
The Grocery Store Academy is a blog about everything that has to do with grocery stores. This is your #1 spot to find the right information for your needs.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has worked several years in a grocery store and has a passion for good food. He's happy to share his passion with you!
About Ferdi Vol
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