The Real Reason Grocery Stores Play Music

You've likely experienced the way certain colors can elicit certain emotional responses. For example, according to Very Well Mind, blue can evoke feelings of calmness, while red projects a sense of power, because it's so eye-catching.

Our choices are affected by psychology, whether we're consciously aware or not. Bright colors stimulate our appetites and heart rate. This is why most fast food signs (McDonald's, Wendy's, Arby's, and the like) are bright colors, like red and yellow. Fast food restaurants typically furnish their interiors with uncomfortable plastic chairs to encourage diners to eat quickly and leave, says Eclipse Furniture. On the other hand, upscale restaurants have comfortable seating, to keep diners there longer. (Dessert? Coffee?)

It makes sense that these same tricks would extend to grocery stores. After all, they want you to spend more money, too. However, the psychology goes much deeper than you would expect: Even the play list is strategically selected.

Music influences your decision-making

Whether or not you've noticed it, it's quite common for music to be playing in grocery stores. But not just any music — The Daily Meal says everything from the genre to the volume is chosen for its effect on shoppers. Loud music will make shoppers hurry to get their items and get out, while softer music will entice shoppers to stay longer. And as many of us know, the longer you're in a store, the more you're going to buy. (According to Shopify, as much as 40-80% of our purchases are impulse purchases.)

Though these psychological strategies can be difficult to recognize and resist, there are a few tricks you can try. First, you don't need to fill your cart. Today's shopping carts are purposely much larger than they used to be. Secondly, try not to wander down each aisle, because you'll likely pick up items that definitely weren't on your list. Third, make a list beforehand and stick to it. Lastly, put on your headphones, blast your own up-tempo music, and hurry on your way!