As can be expected, supermarkets display their various wares in order to increase the likelihood that potential customers will purchase said items. Such goods available for purchase within these stores include loose lollies and chocolates, fruits such as grapes and cherries, and various other items such as nuts and yoghurt drops. While these items are available as individual pieces and can be easily accessed for purchase, they are not free samples and should not be eaten prior to purchasing and leaving the store.
While it may be tempting to do so, these items are in fact not made available for people to sample indiscriminately prior to purchase. They are also not made available so that customers can take a few freebies home for later use or consumption. Just like it would be considered inappropriate to eat an apple or bag of chips, or drink a bottle of soft drink in the store without purchase, these items also require purchase before use. Just because these items tend to be small, readily eaten, and able to fit in your pocket does not mean that you should do so. Aside from the obvious legal issues of not purchasing items which you consume or intend to consume, the constant dipping in of people’s hands into containers or picking over fruit is a rather unhygienic practice to indulge in.
Please remember that all items available in stores require purchase before use or consumption. There are obvious exceptions such as when companies provide customers with free samples from in-store displays. However in such cases to ensure that customers will not be confused, these free sample displays will be clearly signed and normally manned by a sales representative from the relevant company.
The rule in this case is simple. The temptation to indulge in ‘free’ sampling should be resisted at all costs. After all stealing is stealing.