Cap’n Crunch Is Looking at You

The New York Times:

Walking through the cereal aisle, you would be justified in feeling you were being watched. According to a study published in the journal Environment and Behavior, the characters on cereal boxes gaze at prospective buyers from different angles: an average of 0.4 degrees upward if the cereal is meant for adults, 9.6 degrees downward if it is aimed at children, for a total difference of 10 degrees.

The boxes’ positions — generally on the top two shelves for adult brands and the bottom two for children’s — further ensures that those characters catch the eyes of their intended audience.

Brian Wansink, an author of the study and director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, decided to investigate the phenomenon after witnessing his daughters’ enthusiasm in the cereal aisle. He and his colleagues visited 10 grocery stores in New York and Connecticut, measuring the angle of gaze and shelf positioning of 86 characters featured on the boxes of 65 cereals.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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