How consumers respond to the color choices on food packaging.
Green is the new gold standard for health conscious consumers. According to a recent Cornell University research study, consumers tended to think that a candy bar with a calorie label printed in green is healthier than one with red or white labels – even if the number of calories is identical. The green color on the label was particularly influential among consumers who are focused on eating well as part of a healthy lifestyle.
For food companies with better-for-you products, the color green can be used to attract, create predisposition and generate buying intent among the growing segment of healthconscious consumers.
Five other colors with inherent or implied meaning include:
This is the classic advertising color. Its bright incendiary appeal attracts attention and stops the eye. Red has been used very successfully by multiple brands and manufacturers – perhaps most notably by Coke and Campbell’s Soup.
Traditionally, blue conveys trust and stability. In a labeling sense, blue is often used as a counterpoint to red. Think Pepsi vs. the previously mentioned Coke and Progresso vs. Campbell’s. If your competitor uses red, it’s a way of clearing marketing space between your product and theirs.
Purple is the color of royalty and is often used to portray a sense of richness and worth. Purple is also one of those colors often associated in the consumer’s mind with particular foods – grapes or products with grape flavoring, for example. Similarly orange is associated with the citrus fruit and red with tomatoes.
The color brown has taken on more importance in light of consumer preferences for more natural food. Brown is associated with whole grains and “home made” or hand crafted products.
Gold is often used to designate a product of higher quality or premium value. This is useful not only as a way to convey superiority over a competitor, but also as a tool for marking the highest level and price point within a brand’s own line of products.
In the struggle to gain attention on shelf, the proper use of color can create great emotional appeal. Masterful label design – using imagery, words and color in balance – is a powerful tool that can greatly impact sales.