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Researcher Determines That the Smell of Cookies Make People Shop More

Do Cookies Make You Shop?

The smell of a warm chocolate-chip cookie is enough to drive anyone crazy. The warm, sweet aroma permeates the brain and makes you forget everything else. At least, that's what a recent study for the Journal of Consumer Research has (sort of) concluded.

Research done by Xiuping Li of the National University of Singapore showed than when exposed to a hidden chocolate-chip cookie scented candle, female consumers were more likely to make an unplanned purchase — even those on a tight budget — than those exposed to a hidden unscented candle. In fact, it wasn't just a little more likely, it was a lot more likely. In the chocolate-chip cookie group, 67 percent of those purchased, while only 17 percent of the unscented group purchased.

Unsurprisingly, Li concludes:

If retailers want to push their customers to shop more rather than stay longer, they should not only maintain a pleasant environment but also an environment full of temptations and excitement.

So have you guys experienced anything like this? Do you think the smell of chocolate-chip cookies would affect your shopping habits? If not chocolate-chip cookies, then what food?


Join The Conversation
4BYRDS 4BYRDS 9 years
I'm about to put my house on the market. Maybe I'll spray some cookie dough room spray beore it's shown.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 9 years
Maybe I would buy a cookie but I wouldn't want to buy anything else. ???
Marci Marci 9 years
The smell of cookies would make me shop for cookies, not for clothing.
jimmalou1978 jimmalou1978 9 years
Hollister is just as bad, with the overwhelming scent of cologne. I can't even walk PAST without getting a headache from all the fumes. I couldn't imagine going in there to try to shop.
KimBurnett KimBurnett 9 years
looseseal, that's exactly why I consider Abercrombie & Fitch the gateway to hell: the overwhelming stench of cologne and the thumping bass-driven music. I do not know how anyone can stand to work there. I can't even walk by outside without grimacing.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
Food smells would just make me want to go eat if I'm hungry or make me sick if I'm already full. I have experienced something similar: there was a little boutique with this pleasant floral scent and cute retro French music from the 30s or something like that - it was just so nice there I browsed more carefully and tried more things on just to stay there longer - and I ended up spending more than I usually would. I think sounds and scents does a lot in a shopping environment, but it has to be the right sounds and scents. If it's something gross like overly strong perfume or really loud annoying music, I'd leave sooner and that means I buy less or nothing at all. Come to think of it, it's probably better for my wallet if retailers don't know what smells and music I like. Hee.
Angelica Angelica 9 years
Cookies could make me do just about anything. Well, er...close.
millarci millarci 9 years
I've never experienced this. It's usually the opposite I guess. After shopping for awhile, I want something to eat. But the smell of food never makes me want to shop more.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I don't know if I necessarily feel like shopping more... but we have this Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie candle that we've been burning. I felt happier somehow and more... comfortable than when there was no scent at all. I can't explain it.
emalove emalove 9 years
I wouldn't think so. I don't associate any foods with shopping.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Ha. I think I would get hungry and leave to go eat. Just the opposite of what they want...
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Not really, I think they make me hungrey and I end up eating and then don't wanna shop because I feel too bloated :P
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