The researchers state their worry bluntly: “The purpose of this paper is to contribute to an understanding of how consumers behave and what they perceive when shopping chilled groceries from cabinets with doors and without doors in the supermarket.”
Sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch are all perception tools that help aid the decision making process for buying groceries. Researchers from Sweden and Denmark decided to put these tools to the test against a formidable opponent: a transparent door. They re-state their purpose, a bit less bluntly:
“The purpose of this paper is to contribute to an understanding of how consumers behave and what they perceive when shopping chilled groceries from cabinets with doors and without doors in the supermarket.”
Concerning olfaction some informants explained that they found most chilled groceries difficult to smell due to the packaging. “I want to
smell it.” […] “even if it’s well packaged, I think that if it’s really, really bad, I have to be able to smell something, even if it is packaged.” They also described smelling chilled groceries as awkward. If they do this, they always do it discretely as they do not want to be perceived as strange… The informants discussed that doors on cabinets can stop odors from getting into the room. However, at the same time, whenever a door is opened, the odor may cause strong reactions among the informants.
Some informants describe that doors on cabinets in general are good when it comes to making the store feel less cold. One informant describes this: “When there are doors, it feels like the cold is more isolated and being kept in its place. I like doors.”
The study in which they state these things is: “Consumer perception and behavior in the retail foodscape–A study of chilled groceries,” (2018). Lindberg, U. [pictured here], Salomonson, N., Sundström, M., & Wendin, K. Journal Of Retailing And Consumer Services, 40, 1-7.
Here’s a video of co-author Karin Wendin explaining a different line of research, centering on the eating of insects: