The University of Guelph in collaboration with a grocery chain (Longo's) is opening a grocery ’store* research lab. Combined with a high tech data centre next door and research *restaurant*, this is the only consumer research facility of its type in Canada, possibly the world

The University of Guelph in collaboration with a grocery chain (Longo's) is opening a grocery ’store* research lab. Combined with a high tech data centre next door and research *restaurant*, this is the only consumer research facility of its type in Canada, possibly the world.
Photo Credit: K Gonsalves- U Guelph

Grocery shopping: How do you make your choices?

How do food shoppers make their choices…that’s the question being studied at the University of Guelph.

A special type of lab to study the question has been created, in fact, it’s unique..possibly in the world.

Michael von Massow is a professor in the Faculty of Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics, and research director of the brand new Longo’s Food Retail Lab at the University of Guelph in Ontario.

Listen
Professor Mikhael von Massow, University of Guelph. in the new grocery research *store*. © supplied

What the university has done is to create an actual small lab/grocery store with the help of a local grocery store chain (Longo’s), a lab/restaurant, and a computerized research facility to record and monitor data collected from the labs.

What they are studying are the various influences that people act upon in making food choice decisions, whether that be colours, placement on shelves, cost, ingredients etc.

In one aspect of the research for example, they will study whether people are affected by whether a product has genetically modified components versus, those that are GMO free.  For that matter, to what extent are people paying attention to labels, and ingredients.

Through a variety of technologies, researchers will monitor what attracts shoppers in the food store, and what’s important in making purchase decisions
Through a variety of technologies, researchers will monitor what attracts shoppers in the food store, and what’s important in making purchase decisions. © U Guelph supplied

Using a variety of technology they will track consumers behaviour in the store to learn how they make decisions as to what they choose to buy. Among many other techniques and technologies, this includes for example cameras and high tech glasses that track eye movement to see what attracts buyers, how long they dwell on something and to what extent they examine labels, prices, volume/weight etc.

Researchers are busy stocking the *store* shelves with actual consumer products exactly as one would find in a small grocery store. The research operation opens *for business* this week. © K Gonsalves- U Guelph

The research is with a view towards helping consumers make healthier choices.

The neighbouring Schneider’s Research Lab, which is equipped with touch screen monitors, allows researchers to gauge participant reactions to advertising.

Professor von Massow helping to stock shelves. He says even though the *lab* isn’t operational yet, the wider research community is already expressing interest in the many possibililties it present
Professor von Massow helping to stock shelves. He says even though the *lab* isn’t operational yet, the wider research community is already expressing interest in the many possibililties it present © K Gonsalves- U Guelph

This unique facility opens “for business” this week, and as professor von Massow says, even though they haven’t really been “advertising” this, word has spread among research communities and they’re already getting inquiries about potential research projects.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Economy, Education, Health, Lifestyle, Science and Technology, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*