Drinking Coffee Before Shopping Can Increase Spending

Medscape Staff

June 22, 2022

Caffeine doesn't just stimulate the senses; it can stimulate a person's impulsiveness when it comes to shopping, according to researchers from the University of South Florida.

What to know:

  • Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that releases dopamine in the brain, which excites the mind and the body, enhancing impulsivity and decreasing self-control in many areas, including shopping.

  • Shoppers who sip a complimentary cup of coffee before shopping were found to spend 50% more money and buy 30% more items than their noncaffeinated counterparts.

  • Drinking caffeine also appears to influence the types of items people buy, prompting them to buy more nonessential items than decaffeinated shoppers buy.

  • Experiments regarding caffeine and shopping yielded similar results when it came to online shopping, with those drinking caffeine choosing more "impulsive" items.

  • Consumers trying to control impulsive spending should avoid consuming caffeinated beverages before shopping.

This is a summary of the article, "A Case Study of the Marketing Tools Coffee Shop Owners Use to Sustain Businesses," published by the Journal of Marketing on June 17, 2022. The full article can be found on journals.sagepub.com.

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