Investigating the potential impact of changing health messages on alcohol products

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The University of South Wales was commissioned to undertake research using eye tracker technology and interviews to investigate what alcohol shoppers actually look at on alcoholic products’ labelling, packaging and on-shelf presentation.

An observational design using mobile eye tracker equipment was employed. Twenty-five participants completed a brief questionnaire related to their consumption of alcohol and then undertook an alcohol shopping-related task whilst wearing mobile eye tracker glasses (with in built digital voice recorders for ‘thinking out loud’ data). Participants were asked to verbalise their thought processes as they made their choices. Participants were subsequently asked to complete a brief survey related to the information that they use when purchasing alcohol.

Price and brand (including factors such as country of origin and the look of a product on the shelf) are the key factors that shoppers use in deciding on which alcoholic beverages to purchase.

Despite the majority of participants being in favour of health messages on bottles and cans, they don’t actually attend to them in any great detail. Shoppers often don’t look at the areas of a product where health information is most usually presented. Even when they do, it is usually only very briefly.

It is possible that shoppers do not look at current on-product health information as they are already very familiar with the information these messages contain, however further research would be necessary to evaluate whether ‘novel’ on product messages would receive attention.

There may be some merit in designing more prominent on-shelf health-related signage, however further research is also required in this respect.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAlcohol Research UK
Commissioning bodyAlcohol Concern
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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