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Eye Tracking for Ahold Appetizers

To develop the right packaging for the product category ‘borrelgemak’ - a convenience concept for fresh appetizers in the deli section of shops - Ahold decided in favour of haystack’s multiple research approach, measuring unconscious appreciation and enquiring about core values. 


What drives Ahold and its many retail operations is meeting customer needs with solutions that surprise the customer and make each shopping trip exceptional. Analytics and the intelligent use of information are therefore core capabilities for fact-based decision-making at every level of the organisation. To establish the right packaging for Ahold’s fresh appetizers, haystack combined subjective consumer evaluation with techniques and methodologies from neuroscience.

On his shopping trip, the consumer is confronted with an overload of products, yet a short decision process. The consumer’s decision is for the most part unconscious and based on immediate, involuntary, physical and emotional triggers. To measure those defining parameters with regard to Ahold’s ‘snacks in packs’, haystack used a number of objective measurement methods such as eye tracking, EEG and GSR.

Eye tracking allowed haystack to record and measure the shopper’s visual attention during the shopping trip. We combined that information with EEG research - measuring the non-conscience response in the form of electrical activity produced by the brain - and GSR: biometric measurements such as heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.

The analytics of the combined neuro-research methods provided in-depth insight in Ahold’s consumers’ behaviour and helped Ahold understand the ‘hidden’ elements of their customers’ decision process.

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