Color is a powerful persuader. Red cars appear faster than other cars. Blue rooms are relaxing and help spur creativity. Now you can add that orange or cream-colored containers cause hot chocolate to taste better.
“The color of the container which serves food and drinks can enhance some of its attributes, such as taste or odor,” said Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, a researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. The researcher worked with Charles Spence of Oxford University on the study.
The researchers conducted an experiment where 57 participants had to evaluate samples of hot chocolate served in four types of plastic cups, all the same size but of different colors: white, cream, red, and orange with white inside.
The results, published in Journal of Sensory Studies, showed that participants liked best the hot chocolate served in orange and cream-colored containers.
However, the sweetness (not the flavor) and aroma were not influenced by the cup’s color.
“There is no fixed rule to say that a taste or flavor is enhanced with a particular color or tone,” Piqueras-Fiszman said. ”This actually varies with the type of food, but the fact is that, as the effect occurs, more attention should be paid to the color of the packaging, as it has more potential than you can imagine.”
This should encourage chefs and hospitality professionals to think more about the color of the tableware and packaging. For example, blue cups seem to quench thirst better, while pink packaging makes items seem more sweet.
(Story materials from SINC. Image via Flickr: Smokers High Life / Creative Commons)