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Background — A large global beverage company wanted to test concept packaging for individual-sized drinks against their current design in a simulated store environment. The packages were not yet available for sale, and the beverage company wanted to know how the new packaging would perform in terms of its ability to draw the attention of customers and whether or not the new design affected the likelihood to purchase.

Approach — Customers who had recently purchased the beverage manufacturer’s product were intercepted in a mall and given an incentive to participate. After a brief qualifying survey, the respondents were fitted with Applied Science Laboratory Mobile Eye Tracking glasses which were then calibrated to track their eye movements and record their in-store behavior. They were then asked to shop in a simulated mock store environment as they normally would and make a purchase of a beverage in the store.

Outcome — The new products, (which included different shapes, sizes and materials from the current packaging) were noticed more than the current product and often for about 2 seconds longer. The main takeaway was that, of the new packaging, the larger package design containing more of the beverage, not only got more attention at the shelf (about 40% more than current), but was picked up and purchased more often than the current product about 2-to-1.

We recommended the company take this particular new package to market, and advertise it with large, innovative, easy-to-read price stickers or shelf signage, as price signage drew more attention on new packaging than current. This suggests that the shoppers were concerned about the value of the new bigger package design. In general, moving new package designs to market, as long as they fit with the brand and are recognizable will increase product attention.

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