Alim Kheraj
April 03, 2017 3:16 am
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

If you’ve ever been in your favorite fast food joint and heard Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” there might be a reason: to make you buy more fries.

We know that Ed Sheeran’s music stands up to repeated plays. In fact, one member of the general public took their love of Sheeran’s music so far that she ended up getting arrested and jailed for playing “Shape Of You” on repeat for 30 minutes non-stop (relatable, tbh).

We also know that Sheeran’s music is pretty darn popular, with the British singer breaking streaming records when he recently released his third album ÷ (Divide).

Well, according to a new study playing Ed Sheeran in fast food restaurants will actually encourage you to buy more food, and WTF!?

According to research conducted by the Swedish Retail Institute in collaboration with Soundtrack Your Brand, playing certain popular music can actually help boost sales and spending by 9.1 percent.

The research was conducted at an unnamed American burger chain in Sweden analyzing 1.8 million purchases. The research found that playing specially picked music and bespoke playlists that “fit” with the brand rather than general musak they saw an increase in sales.

In fact, when the bespoke playlists were playing, the chain saw an increase of 8.6 percent on burger sales, 11.1 percent on side orders, and 15.6 percent on deserts.

“Anyone can put together a playlist that sounds good,” Magnus Rydén, Soundtrack Your Brand’s head of music told The Guardian. “But when you’re curating for a business, it’s important to really understand them. It’s about expressing that brand through music.” 

According to Ola Sars, the company’s CEO, the company will help collate music that fits a brand’s ethos. So, he explains, “If a brand is positioning itself as, say, modern and technological, those are the parameters we use.” 

All of this, Philip Graves, a consumer behaviour expert, told The Guardian was to do triggering association. “The way in which we process our environment is primarily unconscious,” he said. “What gets passed through to us is a feeling, and that feeling is then misattributed to the thing we are looking at.” 

According to Rydén, one of the ways in which common restaurants are targeting millennial customers is through the use of popular music, with one example being Ed Sheeran’s insanely popular “Shape Of You.”

So, the next time you’re ordering a burger, fries, and a milkshake and you hear Ed Sheeran’s music blasting out, you may have just been unknowingly and unsuspectingly targeted to buy more food. Or you could just be hungry…

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