Retailers find the nose knows it's dollars and scents
When ScentAndrea, a Santa Barbara, Calif., scent-marketing company, added a chocolate aroma to vending machines, sales jumped 300 percent, Chief Executive Officer Carmine Santandrea says. ScentAndrea is testing "smell-o-vision," a series of grocery-store television commercials and accompanying scents, in some grocery chains.
Scent marketing has been around for about 80 years. But the technology became inexpensive enough this year for commercial use, and fragrances are available in a "dry" format instead of spill-prone oils, and more smelly shopping can be expected early next year.
Scent marketers say their scents are hypoallergenic and designed to hang in the background, not to be dispersed like perfume in department stores.
"If we reach off the shelf and grab someone by the nose, we will achieve what advertising to date is not achieving," Mr. Santandrea says. "Everything has a scent, even if it doesn't need it. Toilet paper doesn't need a scent to make it work. It's put in there to appeal to the consumer. When it's wrapped and on the shelf, the scent they spent a fortune on isn't working for them."