Data Visualization Engineer Imagines A Better Grocery Store Receipt

May 14, 2019


These are a few photos from Netflix senior data visualization engineer Susie Lu of an improved grocery store receipt she's developing that visualizes the percentage of total cost spent on each different type of food, as well as a food's relative cost to the most expensive item purchased. Interesting. Will it help people shop smarter or healthier? Probably not. I mean, I can easily see on the back of the Double Stuf OREOs that a serving size is 2 cookies and 140 calories, but is that going to stop me from eating the whole package on a Saturday morning? No it is not. The only thing that could possibly stop me is-- "Your mom hiding them from you." OMG, did you see where she put them?!

Keep going for a couple more shots. Also, whatever you do, don't tell CVS or there will be a worldwide paper shortage.



Thanks to becca b, who agrees visualizing things is way funner than just staring at a bunch of numbers, but still not very fun in the grand scheme of having a good time.

  • The_Wretched

    The food receipt should come with a total calorie and nutritional break down. Time to see that you bought 4000 calories per day and still managed to not meet RDA on 8 vitamins while getting 4000% saturated fats.

  • Closet Nerd

    This is a GREAT idea!

  • Nicholas Conrad

    Really, going after the 'loves data, but not computers' demo? What is that, like 6 octogenarian professors?

    How about a qr code that scans the data into your preferred cloud/app budgeting tool?

  • Iona Buchanan

    Interesting idea but to really help people shop smarter, you have to influence their decision BEFORE they buy. It provides an insight for next time but for the impulsive shoppers, it's not so useful.

    Also i think this kind of visualization would be better integrated digitally into the grocery stores' application (like PC Optimum). This would be also be more eco friendly.

    I only keep paper receipts incase I need to return something and to make sure my payment went through correctly.

  • Doog

    What if the grocery cart itself scans the items in as they are added and displays this information on a tablet that's attached to the cart? You could see your current bill along with a breakdown of what's currently in your cart, which would be awesome.

  • Jenness

    This is cool but since we have access to all the data to make it even more data rich you could also cut down more trees to get a huge ticker tape to show how many calories, fat grams, vitamin distribution, etc. That's just a lot for something that most people give a 1 second glance at and throw away immediately.

  • Doog

    Cashier - "Would you like your receipt?"

    Almost Everyone - "No, thanks"

    Cashier - *Throws receipt away*

  • Tigerh8r

    Lol! Just recently discovered that the store I use prints $10.00 off coupons randomly on receipts and I've just been throwing them away without looking for years.

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