How caffeine influences shopping behaviour
According to lead author Dipayan Biswas, the Frank Harvey Endowed Professor of Marketing at the said university, caffeine consumption leads us to a higher energetic state, making us lose our self-control to impulsive buying.
"Caffeine, as a powerful stimulant, releases dopamine in the brain, which excites the mind and the body. This leads to a higher energetic state, which in turn enhances impulsivity and decreases self-control. As a result, caffeine intake leads to shopping impulsivity in terms of higher number of items purchased and greater spending," he said.
The research team conducted three experiments by setting up an espresso machine at the entrance of retail stores, a retail chain and home goods store.
Upon entry, shoppers were provided either a cup of complimentary coffee or water. The researchers then checked the receipts of the shoppers when exited the stores. They found that compared to those who drank water, caffeinated individuals purchased a significantly higher number of items and spent more money.
Surprisingly, shoppers who drank coffee bought more non-essential items, such as scented candles and fragrances, than the others.