Most of the time he makes the experience more enjoyable...we sing songs on the way over (or the same song over and over again) and talk about the different foods we see. He spots every Elmo in the store (there are many) and tries to swat at the low-hanging signs in the frozen foods sections.
I used to get stopped all the time when people wanted to sneak-a-peak at my sleeping newborn. But even with a toddler, we still occasionally get stopped by strangers - a brand new grandfather, a very excited grandmother-to-be, or a mother who just sent her youngest child to college. My son loves saying "hi" and "bye" to these other shoppers and the checkout people (and anyone else who will listen).
I was touched by a story I read earlier this month about how two working parents turned grocery shopping into a very special experience for their son. Ours is special in it's own ordinary way, I don't go out of my way to entertain my son, we do what comes organically to us on that particular shopping trip. But these parents have cleverly turned grocery shopping into not only a way to buy food but also a storytime, a restaurant, and a scavenger hunt. What precious memories for all!