Does the Colour of Food Packaging Influence a Shoppers Perception of the Product?

Since shoppers cannot taste your product before making a purchase, they rely heavily upon the image and feel of the package design to decide whether a product is worth buying or not. Or consumers will evaluate the packaging of rival companies to figure out which brand is better. That said, packaging design plays a vital role in selling your product. One of the key aspects of packaging design and branding is the selection of a primary colour. Colour is extremely important because the brain registers colour much more quickly than any other aspect of a package design (i.e. detailed graphics, photography, text etc.); especially from a far distance. Therefore, understanding how shoppers perceive colour as it relates to food, is a critical first step in creating a new package design or brand for your company.

Here is a list of colours, with the psychological perception and influence they have on grocery shoppers:

White – a safe colour that evokes feelings of purity, cleanliness, simplicity and freshness; thus giving the impression of few ingredients, which in turn gives the product somewhat of a healthy feel. It also works as a great base colour considering it will work well with any accent colours.

Black – gives most food package design a very sleek, sophisticated and upscale feel. It will give a product the perception of high-end quality and increased worth. It gives high contrast with bright colours, making the package pop, and stand out on the shelf. Like white, black also works well with any accent colours.

Blue – considered to be a very friendly colour. It gives consumers a sense of trust and reliability toward the product. In terms of food packaging or branding, blue is typically used for products such as seafood, water or dairy. It is also used for healthy food options, considering blue is associated with reducing appetite. This colour must be used correctly or else it will evoke the wrong perception.

Green – evokes the feelings of health and wellbeing. It is typically used to brand organic or vegetarian product. The green required for these types of products needs to be the correct earthy tone; the wrong green tone will give shoppers the wrong impression about the product.

Yellow – evokes feelings of happiness, fun and wellbeing. Psychological research shows that the sight of yellow releases serotonin in the brain. Heightened serotonin give people the feelings of euphoria, empathy and love. Through the marketing tool of packaging design, using yellow as a primary colour could make consumers feel good about what they are buying.

Orange – perceived to be a fun and adventurous colour. In terms of marketing food product and packaging design, orange can be used to portray good value and affordability, while triggering emotions of appetite. It is also said to encourage impulse buying.

Red – the loudest and most eye-catching colour in the spectrum. Red also triggers the emotions of appetite and helps depict sweet taste, due to its correlation with strawberries, cherries and other sweet red fruit. Using the correct tone of red on a package design or brand is essential, considering a dark red tone will evoke a completely different feeling from a light red tone.


Knowing the correct colours and tones to use on a food package design is a significant aspect in creating appeal and strong marketing on store shelves, considering it DOES influence a shoppers perception a product. The primary colour of a package design needs to correlate with the actual product inside the package, or else the feel of the design will work against what you are trying to accomplish in terms of marketing that particular product. As a food manufacturer, you should not underestimate how people perceive your product at a subconscious level.