Soundtrack for dinner: how music affects our food
Cheeseburger or salad ? It turns out that music can help with the right choice. However surprising this may sound, the musical accompaniment, if chosen correctly, can not only glue the broken heart, cheer up when the window is dull gray, and help to relax after an seemingly endless, working day. The scientists found out that at least when ordering dishes in a restaurant (but, it is logical to assume, and when choosing products in the supermarket), we can behave in one way or another, depending on the composition that accompanies the process.
A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences showed that the volume of external music has a systemic effect on consumers of rather healthy or rather unhealthy foods. This, according to scientists, is because the volume, as shown by previous studies, directly affects the heart rate and the level of excitation of a person. So, more quiet, soft music, if the consumer listens to it at an average loudness, has a noticeable soothing effect , forcing us to be more attentive to what we order or put in the basket. At the same time, loud, rhythmic, fast music enhances stimulation and stress, inspiring visitors to the establishment or store for a less healthy choice, such as lasagna for microwave, salads with mayonnaiseand French fries .
It was Dr. Biswas conducted a music and gastronomic study in one of the cafes in Stockholm, where under his sensitive guidance, music of different genres was played at a loudness level of 50 dB first and then 70 dB. At the same time, all dishes from the menu were originally coded by a team of scientists as “healthy”, “unhealthy” and “neutral.” The latter category was needed to refer to related products, such as tea and coffee.
As a result, during the experiment, which was conducted for several days, it was found that 20% more visitors to the cafe ordered something unhealthy when the external music was loud and dynamic, compared to visitors who made an order for quiet and quiet music .
Of course, the study of the influence of the atmosphere in restaurants and stores on the choice of consumers – the story is not new. However, this study is interesting because it did not study the influence of lighting, fragrances and decor, as it was before, namely music. Plus, in this case the products were very clearly divided into healthy and unhealthy.
Of course, to say that it’s not us, but music that determines buying behavior, we need additional, much larger experiments. On the other hand, already now we can, armed with this information, try to change our approach to purchases. Is it true that Summertime in headphones will force us to buy more vegetablesand less bread? We advise you to check during the nearest grocery shopping.