Hopster proves a hit in university test

Published: 23 March 2015 at 13:16

Tweed Brewing Company ask Anglia Ruskin to study effectiveness of bottle label.

Manchester-based Tweed Brewing Company have turned to researchers at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge to discover the pulling power of their new beer bottle design.

Tweed are looking to branch out with Hopster, their popular pale ale, and have been eager to learn how their labels would perform in the hyper-competitive supermarket environment.

Sam Ward, Director of Tweed Brewing Company, said:

“I heard how Anglia Ruskin University are using eye-tracking technology to understand which visual features of beer pump clips attract drinkers’ attention and so I approached Tim Froggett, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, to see if the same thing could be done with beer bottle labels.”

A study was designed in which beer bottles were displayed on a simulated shelf and respondents were asked to choose a beer while their eye movements were recorded using eye-tracking glasses, called the “beer goggles”.

In order to make the task as realistic as possible within a laboratory, each “shelf” contained Hopster in varying positions alongside a changing selection of five leading competitors.

And the good news for Tweed Brewing Company is that an analysis of 72 separate beer choices showed that Hopster was the standout performer, being chosen on 44% of the occasions on which it appeared on shelf.

Further insights were generated from an analysis of the gaze data to explain the “shelf liveliness” of the Hopster label.

Dr Mike Pake, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, said:

“An important first step in selling your product is getting it noticed. We’re using eye-tracking technology and computer models to predict where people will look when they scan a scene."

“The Hopster label has a number of features which grab our attention. Its big curvy letters, unusual colour contrast and the eyes, and eye-like circles, all serve to make the label stand out against competitors."

“People are particularly drawn to eyes and to simple visual features such as colour and curvature, which differ from the surrounding picture.”

Sam Ward of Tweed Brewing Company added:

“Standing out from your competitors is very important in retail because, generally speaking, unseen is unsold and in Hopster we appear to have created a very ‘shelf-lively’ label.”