Light products are usually wrapped in pale blue packaging. Not the best choice, reveals research by Irene Tijssen of Human Nutrition.
The PhD candidate carried out two different trials with the packaging of yoghurt drinks and smoked sausage. She used the familiar packaging but introduced variations in the hue, brightness and saturation of the colour. In the first trial Tijssen showed 208 participants pictures of the different packages and asked them about their expectations of the product. She also had them play a computer game in which they had to connect different packaging with a selection of positive and negative words. Another group of 81 people tasted the yoghurt drink and the smoked sausage. The products they tasted were all the same but the packaging varied.
As a rule, the participants were more attracted to packaging with colours which were warmer (red), more saturated and less bright. ‘No single colour characteristic stood out from the rest,’ says Tijssen. ‘It’s mainly a question of the combination, and it can vary per product which characteristic carries the most weight.’
According to Tijssen, the results are particularly important for less health-conscious consumers whose choices are largely based on the (expected) taste. Tijssen does not think changing the colour of the packaging leads to consumers no longer recognizing the healthy products. ‘The group which buys these products already tends to give more thought to the choice and will often read the label.’