Angelina Jolie buys generic oatmeal — and other things we learned from photos of her at the grocery store

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Staring for hours at photos of Angelina Jolie grocery shopping would be weird as hell for some people, but for us it’s work.

Since her split with Brad Pitt in 2016, she’s put down firmer roots in L.A. in an attempt to “heal our family.” We’re not sure if that quest for normalcy has led her to make more trips to the supermarket lately, but that’s where she’s been snapped — by both paparazzi and civilians — recently. While online grocery shopping grows in popularity, one of the most famous women in the world seems to find joy strolling the aisles of Whole Foods buying store-brand oatmeal and applesauce. (True story: She’s cool with generic.)

Angelina Jolie grocery-shops with some of her kids, including Zahara Jolie-Pitt, at Whole Foods in L.A. on March 20, 2018. (Photo: Mega Agency)

However, seeing Jolie at a supermarket isn’t so common that people ignore it. They’re still posting to social media about it…

…stealing a little video when they can…

…and reporting on her market manners.

It’s long been thought that celebrities who were snapped by paparazzi inside grocery stores had staged it for a paycheck — or to get into columns like Us Weekly’s Stars — They’re Just Like Us! And the fact that Angelina was high-glam on her last two shopping trips seemed to play into that. In the most recent, earlier this week, she looked ever so chic in her Fendi shades and long, belted black coat. Yes, all that for generic oatmeal — and Brussels sprouts. And in December, when she popped into a Gelson’s with her pal Loung Ung, she was equally as glam. Both photos had us thinking: Does anyone smile like that in the supermarket checkout line? You’re thinking: How come my bill is always $100 more than I thought it would be? Or: I can’t believe I survived that line. Get me out of here.  

Plus, in Angelina’s case, you know she had to walk by at least one tabloid with her picture on it. Despite that, she’s still smiling? Perhaps they are holding up the latest Star behind the copy of National Geographic, and that’s what has them laughing.

Angelina Jolie grocery shopping at Gelson’s Market in Los Feliz, Calif., with Loung Ung in December 2017. (Photo: Mega Agency)

Back in the day, when her eldest, Maddox, was a wee one, and she had just divorced Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie was known for staging photo ops with her kid. The New York Times piece “Angelina Jolie’s Carefully Orchestrated Image” talks all about it, noting that her handlers would share “what time and place she would be publicly playing with Maddox, essentially creating a paparazzi shot.” We’re not saying that this 2005 Manhattan shopping trip was staged, but it’s possible. (Either way, it’s still cute.)

Angelina Jolie and her son Maddox shop for groceries in Manhattan in 2005. (Photo:

Chrissy Teigen, however, made it clear in February that not every celeb snapped in a grocery store is in it for something. “I used to assume people who got photographed in grocery stores weren’t really buying stuff they like and were getting paid for something,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a not-so-flattering paparazzi photo of her with daughter Luna. “Turns out the paps actually come inside the grocery store and capture your most intimate grocery cart items this is a travesty #TOOINTIMATE #KEEPCARTSPRIVATE #SACREDSPACE.”

When you think of it that way, you must admit that Angelina and Brad Pitt, shown here in happier times at a market in France in 2009, didn’t look thrilled to be captured getting their produce on. After all, who wants people whispering about them for forgetting their recyclable bags?

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt grocery-shopping in France on Sept. 21, 2009. (Photo:

And if Angelina knew that this supermarket sweep was being photographed (also in 2009), perhaps she would have purchased more glamorous items than … frozen sausage. Yep, that was one of the items she checked out with in addition to some toys like a remote-controlled toy car. Though she’s never been restrictive about what her kids eat. See the Today show’s “Jolie-Pitt kids scarfing down junk food” headline in 2008.

And when you own a wardrobe like hers, maybe grocery shopping in leather pants isn’t so unusual, you know? Maybe they are her Lululemons.

Angelina Jolie takes son Knox grocery shopping in West Hollywood in July 2016. (Photo: Splash News)

But truthfully, when the captions on photos of Jolie at the grocery store say things like, “Angelina stunned, once again, wearing a maxi white dress with a gray duster on top and brown leather sandals,” which this one below, from July 2016, did via the photo agency, can you blame her for putting in the extra effort before doing a Gelson’s run?

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt made a trip to Gelson’s Market for Fourth of July holiday preparations in 2016. (Photo: AKM-GSI)

Here’s one last little-known fact about that trip to Gelson’s. It was actually the last time she was ever photographed with Brad — and that series of photos was circulated far and wide after they announced their divorce.

So maybe it just goes to show that when you are Angelina Jolie, a trip to the supermarket is never just a trip to the supermarket.

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