Featured Image: Chiller Heatmap

PubLAB study identifies ‘hot spot’ in the chiller

In recent years premium beer sold in bottles and cans has been driving growth in “on trade” sales, leading to intense competition for space in the pub chiller cabinet.

Previous advice from the industry to pub owners has suggested that the top shelf (as close to eye-level as possible) is the place to maximise sales.  However, researchers from Anglia Ruskin University’s PubLAB™ have found that attention and choice is unevenly distributed across the shelves of the chiller cabinet, and the top shelf doesn’t come out on top.

Eye-tracking glasses were used to record the eye movements of participants while they chose bottled beer.  And by aggregating this data, the researchers have been able to identify the visual “hot spots” in the chiller.

Visual attention “hot spots” in a chiller

The PubLAB™ researchers found that:

  • Drinkers look at the second from top shelf first and look at it for longer
  • The second and third shelves account for 55% of visual attention
  • Time to first “fixation” for the second shelf is 1.75 seconds compared to 6.03 seconds for the bottom shelf
  • Bottles that command the most visual attention are chosen the most often

There’s been very little research into the ‘shelf liveliness’ of bottle brands in the on trade.  Our research shows that visual attention is highly focused on limited areas of the chiller display.

Distribution of attention and choice in a chiller

Brands on the second shelf down are almost twice as likely to be seen as brands on the bottom shelf, and are three times as likely to be chosen.  This is important for brand owners and publicans who want to optimise the performance of certain products.

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