West Palm Beach, USA - January 31, 2016: A package of Lay's Wavy Hickory BBQ potato chips on a white background. Lay's potato chips are made by Frito Lay Inc.
Food - Drink
The Science Behind Frito-Lay's Potato Chip Marketing Technique
Neuroscience, the study of the nervous system, has been adapted into "neuromarketing" by companies looking to understand consumer decision-making processes. Measuring physiological signals through brain scanners, eye movement, and facial expressions are just a few tactics used, and snack company Frito-Lay is no stranger to this kind of research.
Frito-Lay noticed that even though women snacked more often than men, they weren't choosing Frito-Lay products. The company turned to neuroscience in partnership with advertising agency Juniper Park to find out why, and the agency's research found that women processed complex, information-dense ads more easily.
Juniper Park also found that the part of the brain responsible for decision-making and guilt was more developed in women. Frito-Lay redesigned packaging using less abrasive colors, with no direct mentions of "guilt" or guilt-free snacking, and in six months, the company saw over 195 million positive impressions and record-breaking sales.
Neuroscience tests regarding consumerism and marketing can be difficult to run and aren't exactly cheap, but do have the evidence to back it up. For example, one Stanford team was able to successfully predict movie popularity and profit by tracking EEG recordings of participants who watched the films' trailers.