Comparison of the importance of beef price labelling aspects: an eye-tracking approach
Lombard, W. A.
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Self-reported approaches such as surveys are a common way in which consumers' preferences and needs can be assessed but this approach can provide incorrect results. Few studies combine data from cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and marketing. Among these techniques, eye-tracking can be used to elucidate how observers' overt visual attention is acted upon, and it can also be employed to evaluate and compare individuals' graphic search behaviour in a number of settings. Using eye-tracking technology, the purpose of this article is to identify how beef consumers pay attention to the information on price labels and to compare that to their self-reported attention ratings. The dataset used in this study consists of 307 participants. Kendall's W tests were used to identify and rank consumers' preferences from eye-tracking and post-test questionnaires. Pearson's correlations were used to correlate consumers' demographic information against their eye-tracking data. Results from the eye-tracking test showed that the aspects that received the most attention from the participants were the price of the pack, butchery name, and classification of the meat. The price of the pack was looked at more times by the largest share of consumers, and for the most extended period of all labelling, aspects presented. Results also showed that the butchery's name was the labelling aspect consumers mostly paid attention to first. Fewer consumers tended to look at the packaging date, sell-by date and cut name. A difference was found between the aspects that the participants indicated were the most important when buying red meat and what aspects they actually paid attention to when looking at packs of beef. Correlation results suggest that younger consumers are more likely to pay attention to the price labelling aspects and for a longer period. However, it will be at a later stage than older consumers. Also, price label information seems to be more important to higher educated beef consumers. The vital role that eye-tracking can play in improving the accuracy of research has been highlighted in the study. Marketing agents will also be able to use eye-tracking to ensure that products meet the demands of their customers. Future studies must be performed to confirm the results of this study before they can be generalised. It would be worthwhile to also test consumers' understanding of beef price label information.
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