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Fast food logos using bright red and yellow.

Color Psychology in Food Marketing

You may have done a color analysis at one time to determine what color wardrobe you look best in. But have you thought about how colors affect the way we feel about the food we eat?

Color psychology has been used in marketing for a long time.

For example, red is the color most used by fast food chains, followed closely by yellow and orange. Yellow and orange are colors that make people feel hungry. The color red is associated with emotion and passion. So when one sees red combined with yellow and orange, they become passionately hungry.

Green and earthy tones for usually used for eco-friendliness, natural, organic, healthy food choices. For those who are conscious about healthy eating, these colors are appealing. For the meat, potatoes and gravy guy, maybe not so much.

White represents purity and cleanliness, but it can also appear plain and sterile so marketing with this color needs to be done carefully.

Black signifies elegance but is not very appetizing. If you want to use a dark color, go with dark brown instead.

Blue is not likely to make someone hungry. It is even used in weight loss programs as an appetite suppressant. There is a buffet my husband likes to dine at that offers plates in yellow, orange and blue. The Viagra pill is also blue. We all know how easy it is to stuff ourselves at a buffet, so when we go, I always pick up a blue plate, knowing I feel less hungry seeing the color blue than I do when I see yellow or orange. If you like to eat and you want to enjoy your meal with no limitations, go for yellow or orange.

What is it about blue that makes us lose our appetite? Some think it is because there are very few foods that come in that color. It is seldom a natural color for food so our brains are turned off from it.

However, when you’re thirsty on a hot day, what beverage looks more thirst-quenching to you, assuming they are both in a clear bottle with no ice – a brown liquid or a blue liquid? When I see a blue liquid on a hot summer day, it makes me think of swimming in a refreshing pool because pools are usually painted blue.

You can also get away with using blue and other bright colors for candy such as with blue raspberry. Children are attracted to bright colors and they also love candy!

How about you? What colors make you most hungry?

Why do I work at AWG? I appreciate having the opportunity to use my creative and web development skills to assist our retailers in marketing their stores. AWG is a reputable company and the marketing department consists of a great team, working together in a fun environment. Plus I love to eat! I especially like trying new products.