We all love ice cream from chocolate, fruit, nut or caramel we each have our own favorite flavors. I’m sure given the choice we would all find it hard to turn down buying ice cream when we pass it in the store, but a large amount of effort and thought goes in to making you feel this “impulse” to buy ice cream. This is not a cruel trick to try and control you it’s just our human behavior to be subtly swayed in our buying decisions. The 2012 shopper engagement study found that 55% of us are prone to making unplanned purchase decisions. It is not only ice cream manufacturers trying to be the 55% of every shopper’s unplanned purchase; most of the products in a store are trying to achieve this. The same study found that 76% of shoppers base their buying choices on attractive packaging and appearance.
The location of the product also plays an important factor, often the “impulse” or snack ice cream that we see in stores in not located in the freezer section next to frozen peas and fries. Instead it is located at the end of an isle in close proximity to the checkouts, this so that our attention is drawn towards it and in the case of snack ice cream can be purchased and eaten straight away.
The design of the freezers that display ice cream has developed since the continuous-process freezer was perfected in 1926. Ice cream freezers were originally designed to keep the products frozen and allow easy access for customers. To the right is an example of a modern but more basic freezer which serves this purpose very well but does little to really sell the product to the customer. Ice cream packaging has been designed to be bright, colorful and to stand out, so the freezer display unit plays a large part in helping to show off the product and entice customers to buy the ice cream.
Above is a much more optimized freezer display unit (Maxivision III LED)
I’m sure after reading this you will look at an ice cream freezer a little differently and appreciate the years of research that have gone in to its design and placement to persuade you to make a purchase, however on the other hand you could just enjoy your favorite ice cream.
This article was written by Stuart Grimshaw, Marketing Manager at Wall’s Refrigeration Solutions. One of the UKs largest suppliers of refrigeration products and a Unilever owned company.