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Drinkers dislike distinctive beer labels

Beer fans actively avoid buying brands with loud logos or label designs, groundbreaking new research has found.

Fuller’s 1845 was judged as having a label that is too distinctive (Photo: Fuller’s)

A team of researchers from Angela Ruskin University found that when it comes to picking a pint, pub-goers and shoppers shy away from dressy taps and labels.

Instead, it’s the designs that attract the most visual attention by encouraging drinkers to read about the beer that prove a hit.

The study tracked the visual movements of 67 subjects as they picked beers from a typical supermarket shelf.

The beers with the highest “distinctiveness scores” – Fuller’s 1845 and Shepherd Neame 1698 – performed poorly in terms of visual attention and choice.

On the other hand, beers such as Badger Blandford Flyer and Tweed Hopster were rated as much less distinctive but attracted more visual attention and were chosen more often.

Tim Froggett, senior lecturer in marketing at Anglia Ruskin University, explained: “Distinctiveness and visual attention are not the same.

“An object may be distinctive simply because it is different from other objects surrounding it.  And the factors creating distinctiveness are not necessarily the same as those driving attention, consideration and choice.

“In crowded supermarket environments, shoppers direct attention to the centre of objects where they expect to find choice-related information such as product type, brand name or details of flavour characteristics.

“In the case of Fuller’s 1845 and Shepherd Neame 1698, the beer labels are distinctive but do not have the ‘task-relevant information’ that attracts attention and guides decision making.”

Fuller’s has been contacted to comment on the results of the study.

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