Coffee before shopping promotes impulse buying and increases spending -

Save money by not having coffee before shopping

According to a recent study, a person's shopping behavior is influenced by drinking caffeinated coffee before going shopping. The result is increased impulse buying and higher spending.

The new study, involving experts from the Universidad del País Vasco, looked at how caffeine consumption before shopping affects shopping behavior. Various experiments were conducted for this purpose, some of which took place in the laboratory and some in real retail and department stores. The results are published in the "Journal of Marketing".

Many people around the world consume caffeine

Caffeine is the most popular stimulant in the world. It is consumed daily by a large part of the world's population in the form of coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks. So many people shop under the influence of caffeine.

Understanding how and why caffeine consumption influences shopping behavior is important because many people ingest caffeine and it is one of the most powerful stimulants, the researchers explain.

Does caffeine make you want to buy more?

The team offered half of the 300 people a cup of caffeinated coffee before entering two outlets in France and a department store in Spain. The other half, on the other hand, were offered decaffeinated coffee or water.

Researchers found that consuming a caffeinated beverage before shopping actually led to more items being purchased at the store, thereby increasing spending.

Which products are purchased most often?

This effect is stronger with hedonic products than with other products, according to the team. Hedonistic products included, for example, scented candles, perfumes and decorative items.

Caffeine increases arousal

According to the researchers, several previous studies have already shown that caffeine consumption increases activation of the central nervous system. It can be a positive hedonistic state, characterized by being active, energized and aroused.

However, it is also possible that the activation of the central nervous system occurs as a negative hedonic state, for example in situations where one feels tense and nervous, experts report.

Increased perception of product properties

According to the team, the activation of the central nervous system with a positive hedonic effect also increases the perception of the properties of the product. This in turn influences the intention to buy hedonic products.

Previous studies have already shown that the consumption of caffeine in the range of 25 mg to 200 mg allows such activation of the central nervous system.

The current study looked at the effects of caffeine consumption in the range of around 30 mg to 100 mg, since the majority of caffeinated beverages have caffeine levels in this range, the team reports.

Caffeine increased money expenditure

"We found that the caffeine group spent significantly more money and purchased more items than the group that drank decaffeinated coffee or water," the researchers said in a press release on the results of the study.

The increase in spending also affected people who drank just over two cups of coffee a day. However, the effects were weakened in people who consumed a lot of coffee, experts said.

The study makes it clear that it might be a good idea to avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages before making your next purchase to avoid unnecessary impulse purchases and cut costs, the researchers conclude. (as)

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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


Dipayan Biswas, Patrick Hartmann, Martin Eisend, Courtney Szocs, Bruna Jochims, et al. : EXPRESS: Effects of caffeine on consumer spending; in: Journal of Marketing (published 6/11/2022), Journal of MarketingAmerican Marketing Association: Have a coffee before shopping? You Might Want to Think Twice (Published 7/20/2022), American Marketing Association

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.