We know that drinking coffee is enjoyable but why is that? There is of course the physical warmth generated by drinking coffee. And perhaps an association with relaxation. Quite often coffee is consumed with friends or family so is the effect psychological, or is there in fact some science behind it all?

Ingredients

We know coffee works on our minds in some way but what inside the beans themselves has a beneficial effect on us if any. Coffee contains caffeine which in moderation can have a positive effect on the body but it also contains beneficial antioxidants. These are a powerful group of molecules with the ability to mop up harmful waste. As part of their metabolic balance, all organisms can produce antioxidants so consuming them in your daily brew is powerful.

There are in fact health benefits through drinking coffee that have been scientifically proven:

  • Reduces risk of Parkinsons disease,
  • Can lower rates of dementia in coffee drinkers
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers stroke risk
  • Good for your liver – reduces colorectal cancer
  • Burns fat
  • Keep you alert
  • Can fight depression
  • May help you live longer
  • Strengthens muscles and DNA

If these health benefits aren’t so widely known, then how is it coffee sales are so high?

Sensory marketing

By sensory marketing we don’t mean the random perfume staff in department stores poised with bottles – although it is that experience which leads to a purchase – we’re talking about those smells that really do sell a product in a more subtle way. Aside from a song, smell is one of the biggest triggers of memories. The cakes that your grandmother used to bake, the shepherd’s pie in the oven when you got in from school that just somehow never tasted as good anywhere else. Wonderful smells that delight the senses can evoke an emotional response in people and that can be used to an advantage for sales. We’ve all used the trick of a fresh pot of coffee when hosting house viewings. So how does sensory marketing work directly with coffee?

Our senses

We have 5 senses, sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste and it’s through these that we process and understand everything we encounter. Coffee exerts an influence firstly on our sense of smell then taste. So why is this relevant? Marketing experts are increasingly understanding how powerful our senses are in making choices and influencing buying behaviour. This works on an unconscious level, so companies are evolving strategies now that appeal to the senses. The humble cup of coffee had a head start because we already tend to have positive emotional reaction to drinking it.

It’s fair to say then that coffee really is more than just a nice drink to enjoy with friends. It packs a punch well beyond the way it tastes and smells. Nature can produce what humans need and provided we consume in a balanced and sustainable way then we get to enjoy all that the coffee bean gives us.