Grocery Shopping + Hungry = Terrible Idea

Score one for conventional wisdom.

A study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of the Sciences has found that hungry grocery shoppers don’t just want more food—they want more of everything. In fact, their first two experiments didn’t even involve food—they involved binder clips. Participants evaluated binder clips from Staples, and they were told they could take home as many as they like. Just to emphasise: this is a binder clip. It is not food. At all.

In the first test, participants simply reported how hungry they felt, evaluated the binder clips, and took home as many as they wanted. In the second, half the participants “taste-tested” some cake first, then did the binder clip thing. In both experiments, hunger didn’t change how the participants felt about the binder clips—but the hungry people always took home more.

In another experiment, researchers approached people leaving a grocery store and asked for two things: if they could scan the shoppers receipts, and if the shoppers could take a quick survey. The results: hungry shoppers bought more, they bought more non-food things, and they spent more money than the satiated shoppers.


This is a test