American Journal of Economics and Business Administration

Is Color Perception of Packages Affected by Their In-aisle Position?

Daniele Porcheddu, Maura Pugliatti and Antonio Pinna

DOI : 10.3844/ajebasp.2012.116.121

American Journal of Economics and Business Administration

Volume 4, Issue 2

Pages 116-121


The retail environment is characterized by numerous competing stimuli vying for the consumer’s attention. Products packages feature both verbal and nonverbal elements. Nonverbal stimuli, like package colors, seem to be particularly relevant for perception. Knowing whether there is preferential positioning of colored items on the shelves is fundamental for retailers. In addition, some colors may be better perceived than others. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the color perception of packages in a supermarket is affected by their in-aisle position and by their color type. In a lab setting, 120 right-handed subjects were asked to look at 3 series of images on a screen. Images showed a virtual supermarket aisle. The aisle had two identical opposite gondolas, each containing the same number of items of same size and shape. In each image, apart from one single colored item, all other items were gray. In each series, the colored item was always of the same primary color (blue, red or green) and it was displayed an equal number of times on the right and on the left. For each image, subjects were asked to locate the colored item as quickly as possible. Accuracy and response time of answers were recorded. Colored items were perceived more accurately and rapidly when they were displayed on the left gondola to the observer. This phenomenon was specifically color-dependent, as red and blue items were better perceived than green ones. Our results support the hypothesis of an asymmetric perception of colored items in the aisle. Retailers should consider that the consumer’s perception of colored package is more accurate and fast when the items are positioned on the left gondola. They should also consider that some colors may be more effective than others in catching customers’ attention.


© 2012 Daniele Porcheddu, Maura Pugliatti and Antonio Pinna. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.