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Menulog reveals Australia's hot chip obsession

It’s no surprise Australians order more than 3.5 million servings of hot chips per week via food delivery service, Menulog, with new research revealing the extent of the nation’s obsession with this salty side, as a quarter of all Australians say hot chips are their absolute favourite food smell.

Around the same number (23%) admitted to going so far as to eating someone else’s leftover chips because they couldn’t resist and almost 1.5 million of us have asked a stranger for a chip after catching its scent.

The smell has proven so potent, that two in five Aussies say their mouth starts to water instantly when they smell hot chips and 3 million say they have physically drooled when scrolling through food photos on social media. The research also shows less than half of Aussies are willing to share their hot chips and more than one in 10 reporting they ‘guard them with their life’.

The data also demonstrates a strong link between nostalgia and hot chips, with almost half (48%) of Australians reporting the first thing they think of when smelling the dish are good memories from the past.

Dr Alex Russell, Food Psychologist and Taste & Smell Expert says it’s very common for food smells to stir memories that drive action.

Dr Russell said:

“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 because, 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."

To celebrate the smell that stimulates salivation, Menulog will be launching the first-ever ‘Pay by Smell’ hot chip shop on Wednesday 29 May at midday in World Square, Sydney. The pop-up will exclusively serve thousands of free hot chips - Sydneysiders just need to use their nose and follow the smell to find the shop.

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