Drinking Coffee Can Make You More Impulsive and Cause You To Spend More Money

The study found that caffeinated coffee drinkers spent around 50% more money and purchased roughly 30% more products.

According to international research conducted by the University of South Florida, caffeine influences what you purchase and how much you spend when you go shopping.

You may want to put off drinking that coffee if you’re attempting to cut down on impulsive expenditures. Caffeine affects what you purchase and how much you spend while shopping, according to an international study conducted by the University of South Florida (USF).

Dipayan Biswas, the Frank Harvey Endowed Professor of Marketing in the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida. Credit: University of South Florida

The research team conducted three experiments in retail stores, an industry that is increasingly installing coffee shops close to their entrances. According to their research, which was published in the Journal of Marketing, customers who drank a free cup of caffeinated coffee before browsing the stores spent over 50% more money and purchased around 30% more goods than those who drank decaf or water.

“Caffeine, as a powerful stimulant, releases dopamine in the brain, which excites the mind and the body. This leads to a higher energetic state, which in turn enhances impulsivity and decreases self-control,” said lead author Dipayan Biswas, the Frank Harvey Endowed Professor of Marketing at USF. “As a result, caffeine intake leads to shopping impulsivity in terms of higher number of items purchased and greater spending.”

In order to conduct the experiments, an espresso machine was placed at the doors of a home goods store and retail chain shop in France as well as a department store in Spain. More than 300 visitors received a free cup upon arrival; around half were given coffee with approximately 100 mg of caffeine, while the other visitors received decaf or water.

Visitors gave the researchers their receipts as they were leaving the shops. According to the research team, people who drink coffee spent more money and purchased a lot more items than those who drink decaf or water.

Researchers found that caffeine also impacted what types of items they bought. Those who drank caffeinated coffee bought more non-essential items than the other shoppers, such as scented candles and fragrances. However, there was a minimal difference between the two groups when it came to utilitarian purchases, such as kitchen utensils and storage baskets.

They set up a fourth experiment in a lab and received similar results, this time regarding online shopping. They split the study pool of 200 business school students between individuals who consumed caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and asked them to pick which items they’d purchase from a preselected list of 66 options. Those who consumed caffeine picked more items considered to be impulsive purchases, such as a massager, while others selected more practical items, such as a notebook.

“While moderate amounts of caffeine intake can have positive health benefits, there can be unintended consequences of being caffeinated while shopping,” Biswas said. “That is, consumers trying to control impulsive spending should avoid consuming caffeinated beverages before shopping.”

Reference: “EXPRESS: Caffeine’s Effects on Consumer Spending” by Dipayan Biswas, Patrick Hartmann, Martin Eisend, Courtney Szocs, Bruna Jochims, Vanessa Apaolaza, Erik Hermann, Cristina M. López and Adilson Borges, 11 June 2022, Journal of Marketing.
DOI: 10.1177/00222429221109247

CaffeineCoffeeDecisionPopularUniversity of South Florida
Comments ( 4 )
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  • Cynthia Binder

    Do not agree to disagree or etc…. coffee ☕ is a choice. Strength 💪 💪
    unclog your potential food nutrition. Hogwash 🕸sorrow 👣nonbelievers. Options are time has concluded. 😇😅😆☕☕☕☕☕☕☕☕☕

  • Alexiev

    BEAT YOUR SWORDS TO PLOWSHARES! COFFEE GOOD! COFFEE BAD! BACK INTO SWORDS! The Circle Jerk. I am beginning to think the peeps who write these studies are Jacked… Maybe too much coffee… and nothing better to do with their hands… COFFEE! Sounds like a good idea…
    ☕☕☕
    Ahhh… ’nuff said… 😃

  • Frank

    Real science by a marketing guy?! What’s next a fashion designer on why the special theory of relativity is incorrect?

  • Cynthia Binder

    Frank ☕ not space 🌌🌠🌬or trains🚆🚂🔦approaching 🚃🤔 or moving farther away. Frank how many fingers do I have up 👋😲🤓🥳4fingers 1 thumb. Coffee ☕ ☕ are u with us???