Coloring a consumer's palate
Nov 19, 2013 | Written by Anupa Mueller
In March 2013, a study by D.D. Williamson, a leading food coloring company in Louisville, Kentucky, presented 24 test subjects with clear, brown and pink versions of a lemon-lime-flavored carbonated beverage. When presented as a clear soft drink, 81% correctly identified the product has having a citrus or lemon-lime flavor. When the same drink was colored brown, 34% described it as "sweet" or "fruity" and 15% described it as having a "cola" flavor. Similarly, when the drink was presented as a pink beverage, 38% of respondents described it as 'fruity", "berry" or 'sweet". The majority said they enjoyed the pink beverage best even though the sole difference in the various presentations was color! Indeed, we eat and drink with our eyes. Food and beverage makers choose a product color with immense care keeping psychology in mind to influence consumer choice. Red hues are the top trending color for beverages. Even gradations of color are carefully considered like selecting a strawberry red versus a fruit punch red. According to Beverage Industry magazine, "Consumers are mainly attracted to well-known and natural-looking colors found in beverages". Next time you reach for a drink, read the label - it may be color that's drawing you to it.