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Kellogg’s tests eye-tracking and virtual reality technology to place products in-store

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Kellogg’s has tested virtual reality and eye tracking technologies to find out how best to display its goods in supermarkets – and found sales rose by almost a fifth as a result of its findings. 

The Kellogg Company, the food manufacturer behind brands from Corn Flakes to Coco Pops and Pringles, has worked with the Accenture Extended Reality practice and Qualcomm Technologies to trial a solution that uses eye tracking technology within a virtual reality headset. The results, say the partners, reinvent how brands can collect consumer and market data. 

Consumers using the system are immersed in a full-scale simulated store that they can move through, picking up products and putting them in shopping carts. Kellogg Company tested the solution for the launch of its new Pop Tarts Bites product, and found that the combination of technologies provided deeper behavioural data than standard testing using tools such as online surveys and in-home user tests. The findings indicated that the best place to put the new product was on lower shelves, rather than the higher shelves that are usually assumed to be the better placing. Brand sales increased by 18% during the test. 

“Our VR merchandising solution has the potential to transform product placement by examining consumer buying behaviour in a holistic way,” said Raffaella Camera, global head, innovation and market strategy at Accenture Extended Reality. “By combining the power of VR with eye-tracking and analytics capabilities, it allows significant new insights to be captured while consumers shop by monitoring where and how they evaluate all products across an entire shelf or aisle. Ultimately, this enables product placement decisions to be made that can positively impact total brand sales, versus only single product sales.”

Jenny McDaniels, senior manager of category strategy at Kellogg Company, said: “When trying to best assess a future product’s shelf placement, this new methodology provided optimal guidance from both a product and category perpective. This approach provided multiple data outputs which in turn created a holistic solution that would drive success for both the category and the the product.”

Patrick Costello, senior director of business development at Qualcomm Technologies, said: “This proof of concept with Accenture and Kellogg Company demonstrates the benefits of full immersion and eye-tracking and we expect several customers to follow with similar deployments.”

The solution will be on display at MWC Barcelona from February 25 to 28 and at South by Southwest from March 8 to 11.

Image courtesy of Accenture/Qualcomm

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