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Studie: Wer vor dem Shoppen Kaffee trinkt, gibt mehr Geld aus

Study: Whoever drinks coffee before shopping spends more money | newsletter

A quick cup of coffee before you go shopping? It’s best not to do this if you want to avoid spontaneous buying. A research team led by Debian Biswas, professor of marketing at the University of South Florida (USF), found that caffeine strongly influences buying behaviour. The corresponding study, “The Effects of Caffeine on Consumer Spending,” was published in the science portal journals SAGE in mid-June.

Caffeine: 50 percent more spend and 30 percent more products

For the study, espresso machines were placed in front of the entrance to a retail store in France and in front of a department store in Spain. A total of 300 consumers were then presented with either caffeinated (100 mg caffeine), decaffeinated coffee or water prior to their visit. When they left the stores, they showed their receipts to the search team. Test subjects with caffeinated coffee spent on average about 50 percent of the money and bought about 30 percent more products than the other participants.

The research team also noted that people who drank caffeinated coffee purchased “non-essential” products (such as scented candles). After the in-store trial, another trial was made for online purchases. Here, too, Biswas and his team found that caffeine strongly influences buying behaviour.

Caffeine consumption encourages impulsive buying

Economist Monica Emschloss of the University of Lovana in Lüneburg explains to ING in an article on consumer behavior that purchases can be divided into three categories:

Reasonable expenses such as obtaining insurance, which are well thought out and not emotionally controlled;
Impulsive spending, such as buying five tablespoons of whipped cream while on a diet, where current emotions and moods are dominant factors;
And massive spending (often on high-quality and expensive products), where emotion and rationality have an equal effect.

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Biswas puts spending after consuming caffeinated coffee in the category of impulsive purchases: “Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that releases dopamine in the brain that activates the mind and body. This leads to higher levels of stress, which in turn leads to increased impulsivity and reduced self-control,” he explains in a statement USF journalist.

Shop more consciously? Better to drink coffee on the way back

So he recommends: “Consumers who want to avoid rushing into a purchase should not drink caffeinated beverages before shopping.” He doesn’t forget that small amounts of caffeine can also be good for your health – although it’s best to drink coffee on the way home.

Olga Rugler / Editor

Image sources: Kzenon /