Sex and Chocolate: Complements or Substitutes?

The attached picture is a display at the local CVS in Ann Arbor, Mich. My thought was that this shelf display is a great example of complements: Enjoy a chocolate bar together, and who knows what nice things might follow?  My son thought that it depicted  substitutes — no luck in love, so drown your sorrows by eating chocolate.  I don’t know who is correct, but the example illustrates well the fact the complementarity/substitutability can depend on the specific situation being examined.

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  1. 164 says:

    …or is it just coincidence? What was on the other side to the right?

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  2. Andreas Moser says:

    For me, the chocolate is just a substitute, unfortunately.
    And I am getting fatter and fatter.

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  3. Dana G says:

    There is something also really complimentary about the packaging and color scheme of the displays. Oranges, reds, and browns look good together. Also, the shape of the boxes make sense when next to each other as well. Perhaps that is the reason they were shelved as compliments?

    Despite my waxing, let’s face it…someone who was shelving the boxes has a little bit of a sense of humor.

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  4. Roger Dooley says:

    Good thing there’s a little space between the displays. It’s been documented that products that touch in a retail environment can transfer disgust and other feelings to adjacent food products. I captured a great example of that in a hotel’s convenience store: http://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/product-contagion-in-action.htm

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  5. Brian says:

    Perhaps it is wishful thinking, how far away are the roses? College kid has a date and is hoping to put some condoms to use…

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  6. Larry says:

    Depends on if the chocolate is in liquid or bar form, doesn’t it?!

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  7. Cory says:

    “…no luck in love, so drown your sorrows by eating chocolate.”

    Love? What’s love got to do with it?

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  8. Eric M. Jones says:

    It’s just alphabetical order.

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