Going shopping? Don’t drink coffee beforehand

Who would have thought giving up coffee may save you money while shopping?

Shopping coffee

Going shopping? Don’t drink coffee beforehand. Source: Depositphotos

According to a recent study, consumers who drink coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks immediately before shopping buy more items and spend more money. They also make more impulse purchases after consuming such drinks.

Researchers conducted one of the experiments in France. It involved 145 customers visiting a home-goods store who were treated with a welcome drink. The consumers who drank an espresso beforehand spent about $18, while those offered decaffeinated drinks spent roughly half that amount. Moreover, buyers who drank caffeine purchased more items. On average, they bought 1.5 items compared with 1.08 for those who drank noncaffeinated beverages.

Although many academic studies have already revealed that caffeine tends to make people more energized or excited, little research was done to establish the connection between that effect and consumer behaviour. It appears that this heightened state likely causes people to be more impulsive shoppers.

Interestingly, the shoppers who drank espresso also preferred more “hedonic” purchases. They chose items that were more pleasurable or fun in contrast to practical items satisfying one’s basic needs. To be precise, 74.7% of the items the coffee-stimulated shoppers bought were classified as “high hedonic,” compared with 40.8% for the noncaffeinated groups.

During the follow-up lab study, U.S. undergraduates drank caffeinated or decaffeinated ice tea and then were shown images of Amazon products. The results confirmed an initial theory. The subjects energized by caffeine said they would buy more items than those having decaffeinated drinks (3.83 vs 3.27). The group affected by caffeinated drinks were also more likely to choose highly-hedonic products.


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Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.