U of G Opens High-Tech Food Labs

Two new state-of-the art laboratories at the University of Guelph allow researchers to explore consumers’ relationship with food using technology.

Eye-tracking cameras and monitors capture consumer decision-making, consumption habits and reactions to food advertising.

Created to resemble an actual grocery store, the Longo’s Food Retail Lab gauges buyer behaviour patterns as consumers shop while wearing special monitoring equipment. Researchers record responses to things such as grocery store flyers and nutritional information.

Computer equipment in the neighbouring Schneider’s Research Lab allows researchers to evaluate participants’ reactions to advertising.

Longo Brothers Fruit Market Inc. and Schneider Foods provided funding for the labs, located in Macdonald Stewart Hall, home to the College of Business and Economics.