The Food Color Psychology
The Influence of Natural Color on Consumer Behavior
There is a lot you can do with colors to make your food products stand out from the rest. Natural colors not only make foods attractive and appetizing but they also impart a certain flavor to them.
Color is the most important sensory property in the food and beverages industry. Food color gives consumers an almost immediate impression about the freshness, flavor and quality of a product. This affects consumers’ decision to purchase the product or select something that looks more appealing.
Another example of how we are influenced by the visual cue of color is that our brain tells us how something will taste looking at its color. Colorful food can influence our brain to create an impression that specific colors will taste a certain way.
The more vibrantly colored a food is, the more intense we expect its flavor to be.
Let us walk you through colors used in food industry and the consumer behavior linked with them to understand how different colors are perceived by the brain.
Red colored foods are eye-catchy. They can trigger appetite and stimulate physical response. Vinayak has developed an emulsion color called Ecocol Rubra Red which is bright red and requires relatively low dosage to give out a bold red color. Other shades of red are given by Paprika, Black carrot, Hibiscus, Carmine, Lycopene and Natural Red blends.
Yellow and Orange colored foods are perceived as sweet and sour. Orange colored beverages are often associated with orange flavor. The brighter orange colored juice is expected to taste sweeter. The various shades of Orange and Yellow are provided by Curcumin, Beta carotene, Lutein, Safflower, Annatto, Carminic acid and Paprika. It is also possible to mix two or more colors to create a unique blend.
Green color in the food and beverage industry is associated with healthfulness and well-being, such as green smoothies, powders, nutraceutical tablets and capsules. Chlorophyll is a green pigment that is naturally found in the chloroplasts in green plants. This pigment is responsible for the green hues in food and nutraceuticals.
Blue is a rare color in the food industry. Blue is linked with the cold, so it proves to be a great addition to chilled products. Traditionally, bright blue color in food and drink was associated with the notion of ‘artificial’ food colorings, something that has definitely fallen out of favor in recent decades as the natural blue products enter the marketplace. Popular sources of natural Blue are Spirulina blue, Gardenia blue and Anthocyanin.
Brown and Black in foods are associated with a bitter taste. Furthermore, black and dark brown colored foods are perceived as high-value or premium products and represent feel-good products like desserts. The most popular sources of Brown to Dark Brown colors are Burnt Sugar, Caramel and Black & Brown blends. Vinayak has launched Vegetable Carbon to impart pitch black to gray color shades.
White colored foods bring a sense of cleanliness and simplicity. Because of its association with being harmless, white foods trick us into mindless overeating. Titanium Dioxide has been widely used in the food industry to whiten and brighten food products. However, due to restrictions on the usage of Titanium Dioxide, Vinayak has developed an exclusive all-natural formulation to achieve opaque white color in foods. Natural White gives a smooth, even texture and offers strong whitening or opacifying effects.
Due to this human tendency of associating colors of foods with certain tastes and flavors, unusual and exotic colors can help to stimulate appetite and enjoyment, a key driver for consumers choosing products.
We are pleased to provide consultancy for the right food colors, their functionalities and qualities as well as the correct processing technology for optimal results in the final product.