A recent supermarket psychology study by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab takes a thorough look at breakfast cereals that are marketed towards kids.

In studying over 100 breakfast cereals in 10 different grocery stores, Cornell Professor Brian Wansink found that if you look at the characters on kid’s breakfast cereals, their eyes almost always point down.

“There’s about a four degree inflection point at which they’re focusing down,” says Wansink.

Photo: Walmart

Photo: Walmart

If you look at adult breakfast cereals, you’ll notice that they look straight at you.

Wansink explains that if you have eye contact with someone, the object you’re thinking of purchasing looks more trustworthy, therefore increasing your likelihood to purchase that product.

The Cornell lab also discovered that the average breakfast cereal is sitting 23 inches off the floor, which is eye-height to kids. In contrast, adult breakfast cereal typically sits 42 inches off the floor.

Wansink says that well-meaning companies trying to market healthy foods to kids can (and should) use the same marketing tactics to make healthy cereals more compelling to kids.

Put Scooby Doo on a healthy breakfast cereal and make Scooby look right at ’em,” says Wansink. That’s some truly sound advice for healthy brands trying to make a difference and capture kids’ attention.

Watch Wansink explain his findings in the video below.

[via NeatoramaCornell University’s Food and Brand Lab]

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