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Which Wine? … Eye Tracking Study Offers Hints for Standing Out in the Crowd

Which Wine? ... Eye Tracking Study Offers Hints for Standing Out in the CrowdHave you ever found yourself in front of a wall of wines with no idea which one to choose? Unless you had previously tried one or had a recommendation from a friend, you are likely to make your selection based largely on the appearance of the label. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you know that oftentimes the label gives no suggestion whatsoever as to the taste of the wine. I mean, what does a multi-chromatic wallaby have to do with wine anyway, but I too am guilty of purchasing a bottle because it had a pretty picture or a unique name. Studies have shown that a distinctive, bold appearance helps attract consumer attention, increasing the chance of purchase intent. For this reason, it is crucial for package designers to know what appeals to consumers, so their product stands out from the rest; not just for wine, but any food packaging. A recent study published for the Open Food Science Journal, used eye tracking technology to see if it was possible to identify which elements of a wine label were most alluring to consumers.

Using a Tobii eye-tracking system, the researchers evaluated the gaze patterns of subjects as they viewed 27 wine labels with the varying design elements of font style and size, picture, and tagline. The results identified certain elements that were more alluring to consumers than others. Eye-tracking revealed that the picture in the center of the label was first to be looked at in most cases and for the longest duration; consequently, the picture choice for a label is very important but is dependent on artistic preference. They found that font also matters; large sized fonts should be used instead of small. Females tended to be more responsive to the visual elements than males, which would explain my inclination towards the bottle with vibrant colors and fancy fonts.

Incorporating gaze tracking technology into consumer behavior research can give a more insightful look into a consumer’s often subconscious decision making process. The results from this study on the perception of food packages provided some useful suggestions for optimizing packages according to consumer gaze patterns. By fine-tuning the combination of location, size, and color of design elements, food manufacturers can increase their chances of becoming the buyer’s product of choice.