The game show Supermarket Sweep has come and gone throughout the decades. The newest iteration of the show is hosted by SNL's Leslie Jones. But there's been a question on the minds of viewers for some time now: Do contestants on the program keep the groceries?
Do contestants on 'Supermarket Sweep' keep the groceries?
Good Housekeeping confirmed with representatives of the new version of the show that nearly all of the perishable and edible food items featured on the program are donated to a variety of different charitable organizations for both people and animals.
A lot of the meat that contestants grab in a mad dash is handed over to groups like the Rancho Wildlife Foundation so carnivorous critters can chow down on them.
Pet food and supplies folks toss into their shopping carts during the show's festivities are also handed over to The Rescue Train, which is described on its website "as a nonprofit, 501(c) 3, no-kill animal welfare organization."
But a lot of other "edible produce and grocery items [are also] given away" to local food banks.
Reps said, "Ninety-five pallets of perishable and non-perishable foods were donated to local charities, of which included the L.A. Food Bank, FoodCycle L.A., L.A. Mission, and Downtown Women's Center."
The British version of the show that airs on ITV also follows a similar structure, according to host Ryan Clark-Neal in an interview with This Morning: "For TV purposes, we want it to be looking pristine. But there’s still three, four, five weeks on that fresh produce, so we donate it."
Is the food on 'Supermarket Sweep' real?
All of it is real, but in the old 1990s version of the show, the meat and cheese were fake, according to its host David Ruprecht. "All that was fake because [the contestants would] get the meat juices on their sweaters. And that’s not telegenic, so they wanted to get rid of that," he said in an interview with Great Big Story.
The 2020 U.S. reboot primarily uses real food. A percentage of the meat implemented in the program is actually real, and it is usually donated to wildlife charities. Big cats have big appetites, after all, as anyone who watched Tiger King could tell you.
As for the U.K. program, every single food item is real, according to Ryan. He said, "All the food is real. We replenish it every three or four days, and all of the products that are obviously perishable, but still best before, [so] they don’t go to waste."
So there you have it. No, contestants aren't keeping the food that they load into their carts after their time on Supermarket Sweep, but winners do get to take home $100,000, which could definitely buy you a lot of groceries.
You can watch new episodes of Supermarket Sweep on ABC at 9 p.m. EST.