Breathing in the scent of fried food which may entice you for longer than two minutes can satisfy your craving, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Marketing Research.
Just a whiff of fried food may entice you to order a high-calorie meal. But breathe it in for longer than two minutes, and you're more likely to be content with fruit.
"Ambient scent can be a powerful tool to resist cravings for indulgent foods," said lead author Dipayan Biswas, Ph.D., a marketing professor at the University of South Florida College of Business. "Subtle sensory stimuli like scents can be more effective in influencing children's and adults' food choices than restrictive policies."
He found participants exposed to the smell of cookies for less than 30 seconds were more likely to want a cookie. But those exposed for longer than two minutes didn't find that cookie desirable and picked strawberries instead. He had the same results when the scent of pizza and apples were tested.
Since non-indulgent foods don't give off much of an ambient scent, they're typically not connected with reward, therefore have little influence on what we order.
Biswas's previous research has shown light, and the volume of music impacts food choice. However, this the first study to prove one sense can compensate another.