Customers are more likely to buy books if they smell chocolate, says study

A group of Belgian researchers that concluded shoppers are more likely to buy items at a bookstore (especially cookbooks and romance novels) if the scent of chocolate is in the air.

Peterbrooke Chocolatier/AP
Might the smell of chocolate tempt you to purchase an extra book? If so, you're not alone.

Many readers love to curl up with a good book and a piece of chocolate.

But did you know that just smelling chocolate makes you more likely to purchase a book?

A group of Belgian researchers concluded just that in a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. According to the study, customers are 40 percent more likely to bring a cookbook or romance novel to the cash register (more women did this than men) and around 22 percent more likely to buy books of other genres if they could smell chocolate.

The researchers observed customers in a bookstore that is part of a chain and noted their behaviors based on the chocolate smell. Shoppers were also three times more likely to talk with bookstore staff when they smelled chocolate and two times more likely to stop and take a look at more than one book.

The group observed 201 customers total.

As noted by NPR, a study in 2008 already found that when women smelled chocolate chip cookies, they were more likely to purchase clothing items they may not have been planning on buying originally, so perhaps the Belgian study results are not totally surprising.

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