Is It Safe?
"Use By" dates on supermarket products are an intriguing device.
Ostensibly, they add to the customers' belief that the store is looking after their safety but, in order to avoid lawsuits and/or complaints, the advice errs on the side of caution. This instils a conservatism in customers that, no doubt, leads to increased revenues as perfectly good food is thrown out and must be replaced.
Just as with Zara's rapid product turnover, the cleverest marketing is that which changes worldviews and behaviours without the customer feeling manipulated.