Cornell University Study Finds Characters on Cereal Boxes Look Downward at Kids in Grocery Store Aisles

Posted on April 4, 2014

Cornell University Cereal Box Psychology

A new study from researchers at Cornell University has found that characters on cereal boxes look downward at kids in grocery store aisles. The average angles of characters on cereal boxes, marketed to kids is downward at a 9.6 degree angle. The study also found that characters on adult cereals are positioned to look directly at adults.

The researchers studied 65 cereals in 10 different grocery aisles and found the average height for children's cereal boxes is 23 inches verses 48 inches for adult cereal. They say results show that characters on cereals marketed to children make incidental eye contact with children while cereals marketed to adults make incidental eye contact with adult shoppers.

The researchers also found that brand trust is 16% higher when characters make eye contact with consumers, which explains the cereal aisle positioning. Cornell Food and Brand Lab Researcher Brian Wansink explains the findings in this video. Take a look:

CNN's Jeanne Moos took a trip down the cereal eye herself to see where Sugar Bear and Cap'n Crunch are staring. Take a look:

Image: Cornell University

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