A heaping plate of guacamole, which may or may not be an aphrodisiac.
A heaping plate of guacamole, which may or may not be an aphrodisiac. Sarah Stierch / CC BY 2.0

There may be some truth to the old adage that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. According to the dating site Zoosk, which just conducted a survey of over three million online daters, even a passing mention of certain foods in a dating profile increases the rate of incoming messages.

The site analyzed 3,733,185 dating profiles and 364,609,566 first messages between potential daters to examine the role that food played in sparking conversations. Daters who mentioned avocados—and particularly guacamole—in their profiles fared exceptionally: They saw a 91 percent and 144 percent increase in incoming messages, respectively. Chocolate mentions also led to a 100 percent spike in messages, a find that perhaps lends some credibility to the centuries-long belief that chocolate is an aphrodisiac.

Not all foods fared well, though. While potatoes proved to be a high-ranking choice (with a 101 percent increase in incoming messages), daters who mentioned fellow tubers such as yams saw a 70 percent decrease in incoming messages.

And while using words like “foodie” and “cook” in profiles resulted in more incoming messages (82 percent and 26 percent, respectively), talking about food in messages did not. Zoosk found that it didn’t make much of a difference whether daters mentioned bananas, pho, vegetables, or noodles: They all accounted for just a two percent increase in response rate. The notable exception? The suggestive eggplant, which averaged 10 percent more responses than usual.

The saucy eggplant.
The saucy eggplant. albastrica mititica / CC BY 2.0

Though intriguing, the study isn’t exactly exhaustive, and leaves quite a few questions up for debate. Did people reach out because their prospective dates had mentioned chocolate? Or was culinary appeal just an added bonus? What’s the word on using food photos in dating profiles? And why did mentioning avocados in profiles go over well, but referencing them in messages result in fewer responses?

Hopefully the next survey will examine whether the key to love comes from bonding over the things couples hate, or convening over similar burrito-filling preferences.

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