Caffeine makes you buy more, especially the most useless products

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Caffeine is a known stimulant, but according to a team of researchers from some US institutes, it can also affect spending. In the study that the same researcher has produced, published in Journal of Marketing,[2] The researchers examined the effect of taking caffeine in portions from 30 mg to 100 mg and found that the same caffeine increases the levels of impulsivity in the number of products purchased.

The experiment

To carry out their experiment, the researchers set up an espresso shop near two shops in two French cities and outside a shopping center in Spain. A total of 300 people participated: half of them were offered a free cup of caffeinated coffee while the other half were offered water or decaffeinated coffee.


The researchers found that subjects who consumed caffeinated coffee spent much more and bought more products than subjects who drank decaffeinated coffee or water.
In addition, caffeine also seemed to have an impact on the types of goods purchased. The subjects who had taken the caffeine bought more “hedonistic” or fun products, such as scented candles and scents. There were no differences in the purchase of useful objects, such as tools.

In many shops and malls, there are more and more places where coffee is sold

“Overall, retailers can benefit financially if shoppers consume caffeine before or while shopping and the effects are stronger for products with high hedonic. This is important for retailers to take into account when determining the proportion of hedonic products in their stores. Politicians may also want to inform consumers about the potential effects of caffeine on spending, explains the same researcher.These are important factors as in many stores and especially in shopping malls and supermarkets there are more and more places where you can buy coffee or drinks that contain caffeine.

Is caffeine a stimulant?

Caffeine can be considered as one of the most potent and legal stimulants that are widely available.[1]

How much coffee do Americans consume?

85% of Americans consume at least one drink that contains caffeine per day.[1]

Where is caffeine other than coffee?

In addition to coffee, there is also caffeine in tea, some carbonated drinks, some energy drinks, chocolate and some drugs.[1]

What effects does caffeine have on the body?

Caffeine increases arousal and alertness because it stimulates the central nervous system. The most obvious effect is the one that makes you more alert: you feel more awake and less tired and therefore caffeine has been included in several medicines for drowsiness as well as for headaches and migraines.[3]

What are the effects of caffeine withdrawal?

Caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches and other symptoms including irritability, anxiety and drowsiness. More rare symptoms may be tremors.[3]

What happens if you take too much caffeine?

A true caffeine overdose is a fairly rare occurrence, but when an overdose occurs, it can cause vomiting, confusion and even hallucinations.[3]

Notes and insights

  1. Press release from the Journal of Marketing: Have a coffee before you shop? You may want to think twice
  2. EXPRESS: Effects of Caffeine on Consumer Expenditure – Dipayan Biswas, Patrick Hartmann, Martin Eisend, Courtney Szocs, Bruna Jochims, Vanessa Apaolaza, Erik Hermann, Cristina M. López, Adilson Borges (DOI: /10.1177/0022242927)109244
  3. The effects of caffeine on your body

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