Looking for the sun
Although it is an aspect that is not always taken into account, light influences the perception of products, and this perception can change depending on the lighting we are using.
This applies to both artificial and natural light, directly influencing perception, for example, in grocery stores.
“Natural light contributes to a more pleasant shopping experience.”
In establishments with natural light, it helps to increase the customer’s time spent in the store. In fact, in establishments with identical layout, area, and similar populations, those with natural light have a customer’s time spent in the store that is almost 6% longer.
However, interesting data emerges from a study on the perception of fresh products, especially fruits and vegetables, conducted using an artificial intelligence image analysis platform (which includes eye-tracking, behavior recognition, and facial emotion recognition) combined with NIRS. The study was conducted in 32 hypermarkets and 56 supermarkets, with a total sample size of over ten thousand people, of which over five hundred also participated wearing NIRS headsets.
From this work, it was found that while people over 60 years old did have a perception of quality and freshness when the establishment had natural light, this was not the case for the rest of the population. In fact, young people and middle-aged individuals had a higher perception of freshness and quality when the fresh products were illuminated at close range with cool light rather than warm or natural light.
These data once again demonstrate the importance of conducting such studies to have evidence that goes beyond what we would consider “normal” or “common sense” – that the quality of fresh products is perceived better with natural light – and to understand how our brain truly perceives it.