HOST: David Ruprecht
ANNOUNCER: Johnny Gilbert; Randy West
AIRDATES: 1990 - 2003
CHANNEL: Lifetime; PAX
PACKAGER: Al Howard Productions

Supermarket Sweep was a show that took supermarket shopping to the next level. And, it also gave you a chance to win money! But, how did that occur? Here was the entire layout:
Three new teams of two competed. The teams were usually husband and wife, but other times they could be buddies and anything you can think of. Each team was given 1:30 in shopping timeat what made the show such fun. The idea of the main games was to add on to the time.


This was a fun way to add on to their total at the end of the game. Ruprecht would give the teams a clue to an item in the market. Usually, there’s be a rhyme to the answer, which would help out to get the answer. For the one that buzzes in with the correct answer, 10 seconds is added on to their sweep time. And then, their partner is given the opportunity to runand find the item, marked with a supermarket cart (as in the logo), and run it back to Ruprecht and put it in his handin the allotted time. If the contestant could do so before 30 seconds expire, they would be given $50 added to their sweep total. BUT, if the contestant can actually get it to Ruprecht before 20 seconds expire (the clock turns red if it passes 20 seconds), $100 would be added to their sweep total. For the first few years, 2 of these were played (the second after a commercial). It later became one Mini-Sweep per show. If a contestant brought back an item without the logo or time ran out on them without finding the item or getting it to Ruprecht before time expired, no bonus was added to their sweep total.


For the partners at the head of the board, they now get chances to add on to the time. Ruprecht would always talk about items or brand names out in the markets, and getting them correct added time to the clock for the team’s sweep times. One of the most common mini-games of Supermarket Sweep was identifying totals (something like The Price is Right). Ruprecht would show an item off the shelves, and give a price. Players would use buttons on their podiums (1 if it was too low, 2 if it was too high, or 3 if it was just right). For players that got the right answer, 10 seconds was added to their time, but if all 3 were right, they’d win 30 seconds a piece. Other games involved words with something in common. 6 words would be shown, and you had to identify the three things in common with what the category was. Ruprecht would also review poems with brand names and products out on the shelves. All things varied to what the producers chose. Sometimes, players would play Taster’s Test (correct me if I’m wrong). Ruprecht would give them a type of food or drink, and the corresponding player could taste as much as they would like, and if they could correctly identify the brand of food/drink it is, they’d win 10 seconds of sweep time. Also in future times, contestants would use the “Test” podium to spell out words of a food item. One was shown a serious of words that spelled out the name of the item, and they’d have 30 seconds to spell it all out. 10 seconds was awarded for a correct answer.


This was the final round of the main game. All the partners play, taking turns. 6 words were shown scrambled (separately) wordof a product or brand name out in the marker, and the corresponding contestants were reviewed 3 clues given by Ruprecht of the proper term. The team that buzzed in with the right answerwon 10 seconds, and the partners would switch places. After 6 words, the times shown on the team’s scoreboards would be given to the players in the Big Sweep. Also at times, Ruprecht would throw 5 clues to the contestants of the item or brand-name.


This was the fun part of the show. The teams would use their time to stock up with items in the store to add on to their totals, and the show’s announcer would act as an color commentator of showing what the teams were up to. The clock started at the highesttime earned, and as the clock ticked down, whenever the next team’s time was shown, then they’d go out into the storeand go running as well, only that there was a 5-item rule for each thing. And, dropping an item could penalize the team a small amount of money, like $25 per item. But on thebrighter side, there were special things out in the store to boost the team’s score as well. Brach’s Candywas available in the center of the market, and the contestant has to use the scooper to scoop up a bag of candy that weighed up to $1.00 to win $100 for the sweep time. Also, Millhouse Coffeewas in the coffee aisle, and the contestant has to pour beans into the grinder and grind a full bag of coffee to earn $100 for their total. Also located through separate parts of the market were giant plush toys with BONUSes attached to them. BONUSes were revealed as they were totaling everything up at the end of the Sweep, and they range in total from $50 to $250 (on special occasions, a $300 bonus was added). But also on every episode, were special Big Money Makers out in the Big Sweep. Here are the layouts of that.

TV MYSTERY PRODUCT: This was introduced in 1993. In 3 different parts of the market were 3 screens with the show’s shopping cart logo. Shoppers would see a word to a product in the market by pressing a buttonunderneath the screen. If the shopper could find the itemand get it in their shopping cart or return it to the counter (over the line) before the ending bell, the team won $250. When this game was first introduced, the word was revealed by just touching the screen. However, because “touch TV” technology was new at the time, it took a long amount of time to reveal the word, if the monitor worked. In the 2001 – 02 season, one monitor was removed, making it 2 monitors.

SPLITTING THE NAME: This was a variation for the TV Mystery Product, used when the show was on PAX. A product’s name was split in half, and the half names were put on random screens. If the shopper found the product and got it in their cart, $250 was added to their total.

INSTANT COUPON MACHINES: With the use of Instant Coupon machines across the supermarkets in our country, the show did something as well. A contestant could win some money by grabbing a coupon and then getting the object on the coupon itself. However, this only lasted from 1992 to 1994.

DOUBLE/TRIPLE COUPONS: This has a similarity to the Instant Coupon Machines. Certain items had DOUBLE or TRIPLE value coupons on or near the item, and the actual item would multiply the value of said item by two or three. However, the limit of five is still enforced.

STACK JOB: This was my kind of Big Money Maker. There are 3 bags located at the back of the store, each containing 21 empty soda cans. The shopper can take one bag and bring it back to their partner, who could then stack the cans in the shape of a pyramid, using all 21 cans. If successful before the final bell, they get a marker worth a $100 bonus, which later became $150.

CAN CRUSHER: The shopper brings a bag of empty soda cans to his/her partner. The machine crusher can only accept one can at a time. And if they can crush all the cans before the final bell, they won $100.

MANAGER’S SPECIAL: At some point of the sweep, Ruprecht would announce something over the loudspeaker (“Attention, shoppers. The Manager’s Special for today is…”). Once the name was given, the contestant can go to a binlocated near the checkout to find the can of the special. 3 of the special canshave red stars on them, and if the contestant can bring one back, they win $200. Bringing back one WITHOUT the red star resulted in no money awarded.

RED TAG SPECIAL: A similiarity to the Manager’s Special. Located in the center of the market is a giant shopping cart and find the item that Ruprecht said over the loudspeaker, and get it with a red tag on the bottom. Doing so won $200, but not getting one with the tag didn’t get the money.

$300 MOVIE: This made its debut in the 2001 – 2002 season. During the Sweep, Ruprecht would go on the loudspeaker and say “Activate the TV monitors.” Players at the allotted time would press the buttons under the familiar TV screens to reveal a clue to a movie in the video tape display. And getting the movie with the special envelope attached to it won $300. However, only one copy of the movie was available.

INTERNATIONAL BREAD CENTER: In the back of the market was a bread box, filled with18 different kinds of breads each in their own marked box. Before the sweep, Ruprecht would give the players a listof what they needed to bring back. The contestant would then have to get the correctbreads, put them in a bag, and then seal it with a twist tie. Sealing the bag improperly or getting the wrong breads resulted in no money. BUT, if the correct breads were received and the bag was sealed properly, $250 was awarded.

FRUIT FANTASY: Similar to the International Bread Center. Where the Manager’s Special is, players would pick fruits that Ruprecht had listed before the sweep and put them in a red basket for a $250 bonus. A wrong amount of fruits or a wrong item led to them not getting the bonus.

BREAKFAST BREAK: This was a confusing money maker that met a demise rather quickly. 5 breakfast items were listed before the sweep, and their partners could help them. Finding the 5 would win $250. After a few confusing players couldn’t figure it all out, it changed to 2 items with David announcing them over the loudspeaker. But there were still some confusions, so the game was scrapped.

SUPER SANDWICH: Well, this was an all right game. On a table next to the checkout center is ingredients of a sandwich. Contestants would make the sandwich with the given bread (in 2001 – 2002, they had to go to the Bread Center and get the bread), and then wrap it up in foil. However, there were some occurrences that players didn’t get the bonus because they were to use ALL the ingredients, and some contestants forgot to put the lettuce on the sandwiches.

MARKET MADNESS: A table with five same items (usually cereal boxes or rolls of paper towels) was set up next to the checkout lanes, along with 3 stationary carts, one corresponding to each item. During the sweep, players could pick the items off the table and put them in the stationary carts for their team. But, other runners could try and get them out and get them into their own cart. $50 was awarded for each item, making the award $250 if all 5 are in one cart before the final bell.

SWEEP SWIPE: This was inspired from Market Madness. Two of the same item was set up next to the checkouts, along with three tables, one corresponding to each time. During the sweep, players could take the boxes and put it on their table. Others could swipe it and put it on their table. $100 is awarded for each box on a table, making the potential value of this one $200.

CRACKER JACKPOT: A table was set up with a lot of boxes of Cracker Jack. And, the shopping contestant has to tear through them to find a shopping cart token in one of them. Finding it won $250.

JOLLY TIME IS MONEY: Similar to Cracker Jackpot. Only this time, there were boxes of JollyTime Popcorn, and finding the token won $100, later $150.

SHOPPING LIST: Before the sweep, Ruprecht would give three specific items. The shoppers had to find those during the sweep for $250 for their total. The shopper can get them in any order, but all 3 items HAVE to be in the cart before the ending bell to receive credit. This was the very first big money maker introduced, besides the Bonus Specials.

ALPHABET GAME: Similar to the Shopping List, Ruprecht used 3 consecutive letters of the Alphabet and the products’ names beginning with the letters. Getting those items and putting them in the cart’s front basket (more can be used, if needed) would win $250, later $300. However, if a shopper got more than one item of the same thing, got the wrong item or not putting it in the basket would not receive credit.

MAGAZINE DISPLAY: Similar to Shopping List & Alphabet Game, Ruprecht would give 4 magazine titles. The shopper would then have to go to the magazine display near the checkout lanes to get those magazines for a $250 bonus.

BONUS ENVELOPE: Halfway through the sweep, Ruprecht would come over the loudspeaker and give a clue to the shoppers to an item in the market. After the clue is read, if a contestant could find the bonus envelope, there would be a $200 bonus for the team.

VIDEO ENVELOPE: This combines the Bonus Envelopeand the $300 Movie. A clueis still read over the loudspeaker, but the envelope is hidden behind a single copy ofthe movie. After the clue, if someone got the envelope, they won $200.

BIG BOX OF CHEER: This was also known once to be the Big Box of Gain. In the back of the market, there is a big box of detergent with 4 colored envelopes, each containing a value in between $25 to $100. The shopper picked one envelope, and the money concealed in the envelope was added at the end of the sweep.

FROZEN YOGURT: This was one of my favorite big money makers in the show, although it was only used during the final Lifetime season. There is a frozen yogurt machinewith four different flavors (Sweet Peachy-Peach, Triple-Fudge Chocolate, Berry-Berry Raspberry, and Vanilla Bean Dream) located near the back of the supermarket. Before the sweep, David gave 3 flavors to be put in yogurt cups in the proper order. Shoppers took a plastic cup with black lines (indicating where to put the next flavor), and dispensed the yogurtsto the line. Then, they had to put a top on it and place it in the plastic bucketattached to the cart. If the proper order was given before the sweep ended, $250 was awarded.

BALLOON POP: Three shopping carts or large garbage bags were in the back corners of the supermarket. Shoppers can bring one back, and their partners can try to pop the balloons. If they can pop all the balloons before the time expired, $150 was given. It later became a $200 bonus.

THE $5,000 SWEEP

When the bell rang at the end of the sweep, official checkers would scan the items during the commercial break. At the end of the break, starting with team 3, totals would be added in addition to the big money makers and the bonuses. Whoever had the most money would win the game, as the other teams left with their sweatshirts. The winning team now have a chance to win $5,000. Before the show, teams chose numbered bonus envelopes in the event if they win. Then, David would read them a clueto a product, much like the Mini-Sweep. Then, after figuring out the clue, they'd have to runand find it. Once the team found that item, they read the poem on the back of that product, following it to the next. The third item contained the $5,000 behind or on top of it. If the money is grabbedbefore 60 seconds expire, theywin $5,000. For every item grabbed in 60 seconds but not the $5,000 fan, they win $200 per item. However, if the players found the $5,000 before getting all 3 items, Ruprecht would go over the loudspeaker and remind them to find the other items first.

-Supermarket Sweep had slightly higher ratings besides the show that preceded it: Shop ‘Til You Drop
-Game show announcer veteran, Johnny Gilbert of Alex Trebek’s Jeopardy! announced this show before former game show contestant, Randy West did. In the 1980s, West appeared on the Hit Man finale, and an early 1984 episode of Press Your Luck
-In the 1990s, there was a tournament to compete for two GeoTrackers, worth over $25,000. YouTube user, tsskiller08 has posted the GeoTracker finals on his side of YouTube
-The timer on Gilbert’s seasons of the show had the same font that was the timer in the first season of Masters of the Maze with JD Roth.

In the 2001 season of Supermarket Sweep, one of the greatest-ever moments was watched, and thanks to crazyhorse90210, it can be seen right here:

“And, this is David Ruprecht saying good-bye for Supermarket Sweep. Remember, the next time you’re at a checkout counter and you hear the beep…” –BEEP BEEP- “…think of all the fun you can have on Supermarket Sweep!”

"This is Johnny Gilbert/Randy West for Supermarket Sweep. Supermarket Sweep has been an..."

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