Grocery Store Lab - Detail - © University of Guelph

Canadian Gov. Studying How We Shop

The Canadian Government is launching a program to study folks as they shop at the supermarket. The hope is that the results will help us all understand why we buy what we buy. But will this help make us smarter shoppers, or give the supermarket people more ways to make us buy…

Grocery Store Lab - © University of GuelphGraduate student Andrew Baynham test-drives eye-tracking glasses in the new grocery store lab…

The Longo’s Food Retail Lab and the Schneider’s Research Lab opened May 3. Both are designed to help U of G researchers better understand consumer decision-making, consumption habits and reactions to food advertising.

The Longo’s Lab will focus on studying shopper behaviour while folks cruise the aisles at the grocery store. The store in question is actually a mock store, in the lab, That constant will act as a control factor, putting all the test subjects on an equal footing, while recording their reactions with eye-tracking and monitoring cameras. Test ‘shoppers’ will fill out extensive questionnaires before and after their visit to the mock market.

“Researchers will explore a number of areas, including how consumers value and learn about different foods, and their decision-making when viewing advertising, and purchasing and consuming foods,” said lab research director Prof. Michael von Massow.

Computer systems in the adjoining Schneider’s Lab will allow researchers to digest and evaluate participants’ reactions to advertising.

“Recognizing how consumers process the bombardment of information on food they receive and make decisions in store is poorly understood,” said von Massow. “The results of our research will help deliver Canadians the foods they want and the information they need.”

So, the answer to my question?

…Is that this new research effort will mainly help supermarket retailers understand how to sell us more. *Sigh*

~ Maggie J.