Stephanie Smith: Beware whose eye you catch over the BOGOFs

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If you go down to the supermarket today, keep your wits about you, or you might find yourself picking up rather more than you had intended.

No, not yet another unnecessary £10 meal deal (although the wine does work out at such a bargain, so maybe not so unnecessary) or an impossible-to-ignore two-for-one on multi-variety crisps packs (already so gigantic that they require an entire kitchen, let alone a cupboard, to store them in).

Nope, this is far more disturbing and potentially dangerous. Unbeknown to you, while you were sleep-shopping, your favourite supermarket may well have become the hunting ground of certain predatory married men, who might look as if they are carrying out a perfectly innocent weekly family food shop, but who are, in fact, seeking an extra-marital encounter – a spicy side dish, maybe even a melt-in-the-middle dessert – as they calmly roam the aisles with their packed trolley.

Be especially on the alert if you shop at Waitrose. Research by married people’s dating website IllicitEncounters.com has discovered that this is the No 1 supermarket of choice for married men in search of an affair. Married women are at it, too, although they name Sainsbury’s as their favourite affair-shopping supermarket, according to a survey of the site’s 800,000 members.

“Men see Waitrose as the quality choice for food shopping, while women see Sainsbury’s as an ideal combination of both quality and value for money,” said IllicitEncounters.com spokesman Mike Taylor. (So, even in deceit, men seek first to impress, while women, sensibly, prefer to limit the damage their affair might inflict on the household budget. Typical.)

Tesco, Asda and the Co-op also make the approved list for affair-seekers, while both sexes identify Iceland as the store where they are least likely to seek a new flame.

As well as the excitement of catching someone’s eye over the BOGOFs, there is a makeover aspect to adulterous shopping habits, as would-be adulterers look for healthy, organic and “best” ranges. “Becoming more concerned with one’s health and diet is often a dead giveaway for an affair,” said Mr Taylor.

So, if your husband or significant other starts shopping more often at Waitrose, goes all healthy and develops an uncharacteristic preference for “best” ranges, you might well find that he has more than Chantenay carrots on his mind.

Meanwhile, those of you who want your own sauce-seeking to remain unsuspected, you know what to do – eat crisps, buy “basics” ranges … and go to Iceland. Those King Prawn Rings are really rather good.

Twitter: @yorkshirefashQ