The Meaning of Colors in Food Packaging


When you walk through the aisles of supermarket you can see various products in different kinds of packages and in different colors. But why do manufacturers use certain colors and avoid others?

Everybody knows that colors are connected with certain feelings. For example, why do some people paint the walls of their rooms yellow and others pink? The same is true in stores. Producers want us to feel something when we look at their products.

Green, for example, tries to show the quality of a product, how good it is for us or for our environment. It also signalizes that the product is healthier, has less fat and maybe fewer calories. Red, on the other hand is an aggressive color that is often used for packaging food. Red wants to us to become hungry or thirsty. Purple is color that is very rare. It indicates that it is something special. Producers use purple to show that something is of good quality. Blue is not very often found in food packaging because there are not very many foods that have a blue color.



Colors are often associated with flavors. An orange flavored product uses an orange packaging; any other color would be unnatural. Chocolate and other foods with cacao in them often use brown packaging.

Colors can also have different meanings in different cultures and countries. Green for example is not widely used in Egypt, maybe because the country’s national color is green.

Consumers are aware that certain foods or beverages must have certain colors. When Pepsi brought out a crystal clear cola in 1992 it thought that consumers would buy it because clear meant pure and healthy. After a few months Pepsi found out that a cola had to be dark-colored. Crystal Pepsi failed and the company pulled it out of the market.

Advertising professionals often need to look at a product through the consumer’s eyes when choosing a color. The right packaging colors can truly improve the sales of a product but choosing a wrong color could end in failure.




Related Topics


  • advertise = to tell the people about products and show them how good they are so that they might buy them
  • aisle = long passage between rows of shelves in a shop
  • associate = link, connect with
  • avoid = here: not use
  • aware = know, to be alert
  • beverage = drink
  • cacao = the seed from which chocolate is made
  • certain = special
  • connect = link, associate with
  • consumer = a person who buys things in a shop
  • environment = the world around us
  • fail = be unsuccessful, not pass
  • failure = not a success, collapse
  • flavor = how a kind of food or drink tastes
  • improve = to make better
  • indicate = show
  • manufacturer = producer
  • package = to put something in a container or box in order to sell it in a store
  • professional = a person who works for money
  • pull something out = here: not sell it anymore
  • pure = clean
  • rare = unusual, not used very often
  • sales = the selling of
  • signalize = show
  • various = different
  • widely = very much