In the only good news that has happened in this, the longest year yet, Supermarket Sweep is returning to television. The shopping-based game show that was far superior to Shop Til You Drop is gearing back up for a 21st century reboot, and I’m kind of freaking out about it.
Freemantle Media announced on Friday that it acquired the rights to the iconic game show that last aired in 2004. But those were reruns, and host David Ruprecht has been in rice for more than a decade, just waiting for the show to come back to us.
Folks, it’s finally happening.
If you somehow haven’t seen Supermarket Sweep, you clearly were not a millennial who had PAX on basic cable growing up. But here’s an episode and a general overview of the greatest grocery-based television show in history. Because, after all, there have to be other teams for me to own with a grocery cart.
Contestants faced off in shopping trivia games, with three teams answering questions to gain time used later to shop in the in-studio supermarket. Each team then picks one shopper to grab a cart and go wild in the aisles, hoping to get the highest dollar amount in their carts before their time expires. There are bonus challenges like grinding a bag of coffee for $100, or getting a dollar’s worth of bulk candy. But those are wastes of time, red herrings in your on-air shopping experience. Aim higher.
Anyway, the highest team total gets to play the bonus round, a scavenger hunt that nets them a $5,000 cash prize if they can finish it in time. Let’s let Henry Howard, the son of creator Al Howard, try to explain it.
“In Supermarket Sweep, one lucky team tries for the bonus money, but on this show, there are no losers—only shoppers having a great time,” Howard said. “I’m delighted that Fremantle has made the exciting decision to bring back this classic game show, and I look forward to working with their talented teams around the world.”
Truly, there are no losers on Supermarket Sweep, except those that waste time loading up a cart with bulky diapers and weighing oddly-shaped candy. The clear path to victory on Supermarket Sweep — other than an encyclopedic knowledge of supermarket brands and goofy puns — is to start with a cart full of gold-wrapped turkeys.
Then you grab a new cart and head to the medicine aisle to score big on expensive pharmaceuticals and maybe snag an inflatable on the way back for cart number three. Bonus bucks, baby.
From there, you’re almost out of time but in the clear to explore the space a bit. Grind some coffee if you’d prefer to tempt fate. Maybe taunt your opponents and search for the mystery item. Make it count, though, because only one team gets to go to the final round and it damn well better not be the team who didn’t know they used to call Mountain Dew ‘Hillbilly Moonshine’ back in the first round.
That ten seconds is gonna cost them. And it’s gonna get you a cool five grand if you play your cards right, kid.