The next time you go to buy groceries, consider eating an apple first. Cornell researchers recently found that shoppers can be primed to buy more produce when they eat a healthy item before shopping.

The survey studied 120 shoppers who were divided into three different groups. One group was given an apple sample, the other cookies and the third, nothing at all. Their research found that individuals who ate an apple sample before shopping bought 25% more fruits and vegetables than those who did not eat a sample, and 28% more fruits and vegetables than folks who had been given a cookie sample.


“What this teaches us,” researcher Aner Tal explained in the statement, “is that having a small healthy snack before shopping can put us in a healthier mindset and steer us towards making better food choices.”

Convincing yourself to think healthy also seems to do the trick when it comes to making those better decisions. In the same study, two groups were given the same chocolate milk, but one group’s milk was labeled “healthy, wholesome chocolate milk” and the other, “rich, indulgent chocolate milk.” Participants who were given the milk labeled healthy and wholesome selected more healthy foods in the store. This finding indicates that what influences shoppers behavior after consuming a sample is not the actual healthfulness of the sample, but its perceived healthfulness.

An apple a day will bring more apples your way. And an added bonus: you’ll also be less hungry while shopping.

Does this inspire you to munch a healthy snack before hitting the grocery store? Let us know in the comments below!