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Why listening to Ed Sheeran could make you order dessert


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Photo: Instagram/@teddysphotos

You already know music profoundly affects your workout. (Anyone who has ever tried running on the treadmill sans headphones can attest to that.) But it turns out your tunes can affect what and how much you eat, too.

Researchers at the Swedish Retail Institute teamed up with startup Soundtrack Your Brand (backed by Spotify) to measure how music affected customers’ restaurant orders—and they found that your playlist may be your destiny.

Researchers found that your playlist may be your destiny.

A fast-food restaurant used in the study had higher sales with a “welcoming, modern, and expressive” playlist custom-made for a millennial audience (ultimate example: Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”), as opposed to randomly selected pop songs. And the bump was significant: Burger purchases went up by 8.6 percent, fries by 8.8 percent, and desserts by 15.6 percent. (Consider Sheeran a bona fide sugar trigger.)

“Music triggers associations in our brain,” Philip Graves, a consumer behavior expert, tells The Guardian. “The way in which we process our environment is primarily unconscious. What gets passed through to us is a feeling, and that feeling is then misattributed to the thing we are looking at, and we like that thing more.”

So the logic follows that because so many people like Sheeran, they end up liking what they see on the menu more, ordering perhaps more than they normally would, and then eating more of it because the overall experience is just overflowing with happy vibes. (Just thinking out loud here…)

And yes, same goes for whatever singer is your fave: So if you’re obsessed with the new Drake, playing the album while you eat at home could cause you to go back for seconds, too. (And hey, maybe you’ll hold your yoga poses longer. Hello, Namasdrake)

No matter where you eat, your order is about to get healthier—and yes, that includes Chipotle and Starbucks.

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