Why Sam's Club Employees Hate Stocking Sugar

Your grocery store likely boasts shelf-upon-shelf of products in all shapes and sizes lined up and stacked with military precision. This does not happen by magic. It takes the muscle and sweat of real people who lug boxes, climb ladders, and work hard to ensure that the items you need are available for you to purchase. And some items are much easier to re-stock than others (via ZipRecruiter). In a perfect world, everything would be light and airy like a package of marshmallows or a bag of Doritos, but then how would you get your bottled water, cases of Coke, or bulging burlap bags of basmati? 

Unfortunately, the nature of this work has led to many grocery shelf-stockers being hurt on the job. According to the CDC, the grocery sector placed fifth among the retail trades as having the most non-fatal workplace injuries, while warehouse facilities and superstores placed second. And the US Bureau of Labor Statistics states the culprit in most injuries are boxes, repetitive motions or awkward positions, and the floor, with 35% suffering from problems with their trunk, especially the back. Clearly, keeping our supermarkets and bulk stores fully stocked is hard on the body. 

But what products pose the biggest difficulties? Some Sam's Club employees were eager to answer that question. And their response may surprise you. 

Sugar is responsible for messy aisles

It turns out that for some grocery store employees, the worst products are the messy ones. Yes, the supermarket staples that escape their packages on a regular basis like sugar, flour, and rice add another task to the employee's day: clean-up. When Redditor u/Uga1992 posted a picture of a sugar-riddled Sam's Club aisle in r/samsclub, his comment "Do y'alls isles (sic) look like this after working sugar?," sparked much agreement among fellow workers. Apparently, sugar is not a favorite item with those that replenish stock with one commenter saying, "Every single time" and another adding, "When I worked sugar I had folks cleaning for me." Others chimed in with loathed products. For instance, u/sleazedisease stated, "The other night I got a pallet of Uncle Ben's rice that was regurgitating rice everywhere," while another Redditor offered that pool salt can be just as bad. Yes, Reddit has offered a glimpse of what it's really like to work at Sam's Club

If sugar and flour bags can leak product so easily, why do they continue to be made from paper? According to Oren International, Kraft paper is inexpensive, environmentally friendly, allows flour and sugar to breathe, and is free of environmental estrogens. Putting up with a few messes is, apparently, a small price to pay. 

So the next time you visit your nearest grocery purveyor, give a big thanks to the person stocking the shelves. And, whatever you do, don't choose the leaky flour bag.