... I was struck by the muti-generational group ahead of me. A mom, her mother (or mother-in-law) and young son and daughter (around 6 and 8 in my estimation) were ahead of me, buying a rice cooker. As the mom searched for her wallet in her bag the excited younger child, the little girl, bounced around the nearby candy display, saying loudly that she wanted "this one!" She grabbed a Twix bar and plopped it in the counter next to the rice cooker.
I am frequently in a similar situation, doing some shopping in stores with my daughter and mother, and on a rare occasion one or the both of them manage to get a treat thrown into the purchase, but I could never be as casual or automatic about the process. I know that's precisely why the candy and snacks are positioned so close to check-out, but I'm pretty old-school about stuff like that. Or just cheap.
But I can't help but wonder if there is a snack included for the kids in that family at every purchase, or if I just witnessed a tired mom who chose not to engage. Sometimes we have to hit a couple of stores on an errand day. The junk food could really pile up.