A recent paper published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science reveals that people are more likely to choose indulgent food items than healthful items when loud background music is playing.
Researchers conducted a pilot study, two field experiments, and five lab studies to determine that low volume music/noise leads to increased sales of healthy foods due to induced relaxation, while high volume music/noise tends to enhance excitement levels, spurring less healthy food choices.
Genres of music weren’t as likely to influence food choices, as researchers tested a large variety of genres ranging from classical to heavy metal.
“High-volume music is more exciting and makes you physically more excited, less inhibited and more likely to choose something indulgent,” said Dipayan Biswas, lead author of the paper and an expert in sensory marketing. “Low music makes us more relaxed and more mindful, and more likely to go for the things that are good for us in the long run.”
Biswas has also researched the effects of lighting on consumers, finding that they were more likely to indulge when eating in a dimly lit restaurant than in one that is brightly lit.