We need food to survive. But do you know how your customers shop for food?
Your potential customers will choose the product with the most “appetizing” packaging because we humans “eat with our eyes” first.
According to Fab Brands Creative Director Jim Parker, who is a member of the famed Color Marketing Group (an international color forecasting organization), “Color and the sense of taste go hand-in-hand. Taste is how we learn about color as a child — apples are red, bananas are yellow, and chocolate is brown. These memories of color influence what colors we like to see on our packaging.
“Every color tells a story and helps to shape what we see. It is critical to think through color choices carefully in packaging and design. Remembering the power that color has to send a message is essential,” says Parker. “Color can trigger feelings and thoughts, induce emotions and attitudes about the product before the consumer knows anything about it.”
Parker says ultimately, it comes down to three key considerations:
- Keep your customers’ mindset at the forefront of all packaging color decisions.
- Whether it’s their age, gender, economic status, or education level, put yourself in their shoes to see what motivates your customer to buy.
- Don’t forget to consider your target market’s cultural preferences and meanings before making your color choice.
So, what are the best colors to induce hunger, boost energy, and ultimately drive your customer to purchase your product? Red and yellow (hello, McDonald’s). Red reminds our brains of meat and berries, whereas yellow is bright and energizing.
Green and brown are also good color choices for food packaging. Green reminds us of vegetables and other plant-based foods we eat. Similarly, brown reminds us of delicious, comforting chocolate or rich, warm coffee.
On the other hand, what colors suppress hunger the most? Blue and purple. Blue, especially, is not a color we often see naturally occur in food. So, our brains do not recognize it as a source of food.
White and gray are also often poor color choices for food packaging because they are too sterile and neutral.
However, Parker says, “Sometimes, it is best to break the rules to get noticed.” Or in other words, “If it looks good, it looks good!”