No Small Fry: Australia’s Hot Chip ‘Obsession’

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 05 Jun 2019

It’s no secret that Aussies love hot chips. Considered as one of Australia’s most iconic foods, new MenuLog research revealed why the favourite drives customers to extremes to ‘satisfy their cravings’.

New research from Menulog discovered that almost 1.5 million Australians have asked a stranger for a chip after catching the scent. The research also uncovered that one-quarter of the Aussie population say that hot chips are their ‘absolute favourite food smell’.

In celebration of the research, Menulog has launched a ‘Pay by Smell’ hot chip shop in World Square, Sydney. The pop-up served thousands of free hot chips, and attracted customers, not with advertising or social media posts, but with a scent.

Dr Alex Russell, Food Psychologist, said that it’s common for scents from food to stir memories that ‘drive action’. “Smells can serve as powerful cues for memories, because the smell is directly linked to memory centres in our brain. Part of the reason Aussies love eating hot chips so much is that, for most of us, eating hot chips is a fun thing to do, and is usually associated with pleasant memories from childhood. The craving kicks in because the smell may remind us that we need to eat, but it also reminds us, subconsciously, of the positive feeling that comes with eating this particular food,” Dr Russell explained.

Menulog’s new research has helped coin a new marketing campaign

According to the research, around 23 per cent of Aussies admitted to eating someone else’s leftover chips, mostly because they ‘couldn’t resist’. The smell of hot chips has been proven to be so ‘potent’ that two in five Australians say they salivate when they smell the food, with three million starting to drool when they scroll past food on social media platforms.

Menulog’s research also found that millennials are 78b per cent more likely to eat more than three chips at once, and that one in ten millennials have immediately ordered hot chips on their smartphone after smelling them. As part of this hot research, Menulog has re-designed its new campaign Did Someone Say Menulog to Did Someone Smell Menulog.

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