Study finds Ed Sheeran’s music is being used to sell more chips

Researchers in Sweden have found that specially selected songs and playlists are increasing customer spending in burger chains by 9.1%.

A new study has found that specially curated playlists – which include such popular songs as Ed Sheeran‘s ‘Shape Of You’ – are helping to increase customer spending in fast food restaurants.

Researchers from the Swedish Retail Institute and the start-up Soundtrack Your Brand are behind the new study, which found that the playing of bespoke playlists in an unnamed American fast-food restaurant in Sweden saw customers’ spending increase by 9.1%.

When the curated playlists were played in the restaurant, sales of burgers went up by 8.6%, fries by 8.8% and desserts by 15.6%.


Ed Sheeran

Speaking about the findings, Soundtrack Your Band CEO Ola Sars told The Guardian: “We’ve spent four years developing an advanced method called Soundscan, used in this research and in all our curation efforts. Until now, streaming hasn’t crossed over into background music, which has become a fairly broken market.”

Magnus Rydén, head of music at the start-up, added: “When you’re curating for a business, it’s important to really understand them. It’s about expressing that brand through music.”

The “millennial-targeted” selections on the playlist which had a significant bearing on the study’s findings included Sheeran’s recent number one single ‘Shape of You’. New Zealand band Yumi Zouma, on the other hand, were deemed to be “simply too pale.”