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Scents sell

chocolate chip cookies, freshly bakedI’ve heard it said that the scent of freshly baked bread can help to sell a house, giving it a cozy feel and a livable aroma even when the house is brand new. I’m sure more than one realtor has tried to use it to help promote a property during an open house, resorting to a bread machine if they’re not familiar with working with yeast.

But is bread the only baked good that sells?

Not according to some research done at the National University of Singapore. There, they found that the smell of freshly baked cookies – chocolate chip cookies, in particular – makes people crave more than just a glass of milk. Shoppers who smelled cookies while they browsed were 67% more likely to make unplanned purchases, even when on a tight budget. Tests were done with clothing, so it’s pretty clear that the cookies didn’t simply make people want to spend more time (and money) in the baking aisle, either. The conclusion of the research was that retailers simply need to tempt their customers with something, and because using a cookie-scented candle in place of the real thing eliminates grabbing a cookie as a solid option, the shoppers are somewhat more likely to satisfy their desire to give in to temptation by buying whatever is in front of them at the time.

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1 Comment
  • Mo
    January 16, 2008

    Hello, I wandered over here through Simply Recipes, and saw this entry. I’ve heard stories of the baked bread smell selling houses. I’ve also heard of a law firm that bakes cookies for its employees and clients in the kitchen every morning (it’s a small firm, max twenty people, only some of which are attorneys). If you ask me, that’d be a great incentive to come in and seek legal advice for everything! 😉

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