By Sally Squires
Ever notice the background music playing as you dine and shop? Pay attention because music can affect what you buy and consume–one reason so many stores and restaurants play background music. For example, a British study found that when French music was played in grocery aisles, consumers were more likely to buy French wine. When the scientists substituted German music, consumers–you guessed it–purchased more German wine.
How much we spend at the store can also be affected music playing in the background. One study found that when classical music played in a wine store, consumers spent more money and bought more expensive wines than when the music being played was “top 40 tunes.”
Music can also shape what we eat. A recent Japanese study found that jazz and classical music increased preferences for healthy savory foods, such as pretzels, popcorn, and olives. Compare that to rock, heavy metal, hip-hop and jazz, which the study found tended to increase consumption of indulgent savory foods such as burgers and fries.
If you are trying to eat fewer sweets, you may want to skip Mozart and other classical tunes while dining. Here’s why: Japanese researchers found that classical music increased the consumption of sweets, which won’t make it easy to resist that chocolate chip cookie, brownie, or piece of cake.