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Researchers recently set out to discover what could make people want to shop more, and it turns out that chewing gum can play a part in how much a person is willing to shop.

Previous studies have already confirmed that our cognitive function is stimulated when we’re chomping on some of gum. So it makes sense that a new study out of Ted Rogers School of Retail Management at Ryerson is now suggesting that shoppers spend more time in stores (digital or actual) if and when they’re chomping on a piece of gum.

“As people are chewing gum, they have this increased cognitive function, and that allows them to think more while they’re in the store,” Mark Lee, one of the study’s lead authors, told CTV News.

Five separate studies were conducted, four being carried out at a U.S.-based lab with 300 students as participants. The first four studies were pretty simple: researchers asked students to buy stuff like books and gifts online, and compared the shopping behaviour of those who were given gum to chew with those who weren’t. Both sets were asked to write down their thoughts as they shopped, and, sure enough, the chewers listed more thoughts and ultimately spent more time browsing.

Chew on that.

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For the last study, researchers surveyed 56 shoppers at a big grocery chain, half of whom were given gum before entering. Once again, chewers spent more time in the store and bought more stuff, though they didn’t spend more money.

Perhaps the most fascinating discovery, however, was that the amount of gum chewed on also had an impact on shoppers — too much of it and the shoppers seemed distracted.

“Now they’re focusing too much on the gum itself and the chewing task itself, rather than just kind of looking at the store,” said Lee.

Ultimately, researchers concluded that gum could in fact influence shopping behaviour. So don’t be surprised if you’re offered a stick of Juicy Fruit the next time you enter a store.

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