Why Colour is important in the Food and Beverages industry?

Colour gives us an expectation about Taste and Quality

Colour is potentially the most important sensory property in the food and beverages industry. Food colour gives consumers an almost immediate impression about the freshness, flavour and quality of a product. This affects a consumers decision to purchase that product or select something that looks more appealing.

Research has shown that it takes consumers 3-7 seconds to make a decision about a product. Companies need to capture their customers within this short amount of time.

It has also been reported that 90% of buyers make a decision to purchase a product after seeing it’s colour and creating a perception about how it will taste.
This association between colour and taste has been around for years.

Consumers usually make their decisions to buy Food products for two reasons:

  1. Colour and Appearance of the Food or Beverage, which indicates flavour and quality
  2. Past experiences with that product or brand

  • Can you imagine purchasing a bottle of tomato sauce that looks brown on the shelf?

  • Would you purchase your favourite mixed spice, if suddenly, the spice you see on the shelf is completely different to what you are used to buying?

Well, probably not. You would not put Brown tomato sauce all over your food, as you might expect that it has passed it’s best before date. If your favourite brands started producing goods that are not consistent, you would not only question the quality of the goods, but you would question a change in recipe or process.

These simple examples show how important it is for food processors and manufacturers to ensure that they produce goods that are uniform in colour, time and time again.  As colour ultimately influences a consumer’s decision to purchase, it is important for food companies to control colour in an objective way.

We know that producing any processed or prepared food item that is fit for the shelves is no easy task. Different raw materials and ingredients from different suppliers all influence the colour of the final product. Changes in the manufacturing process also result in changes in colour. Challenges like producing the same coloured food have been around for many years and yet there are ways to manage this.

Why should you control Food and Beverage colour?

We have already discussed that Food Colour impacts whether a consumer purchases a product or not. The reasons for colour management stretch further than this.
We briefly highlight the following 3 reasons as other important reasons to control Colour:

  1. Brand Integrity. Inconsistent and poor colour management can negatively affect a brand. Customers may start to question a brands quality if their products appear to be changing. Our blog here highlights this with one of the worlds most recognizable beverages brands.
  2. Quality Assurance. Ensure that suppliers deliver materials that meet your company standards. This translates into your customers receiving a consistent quality of product time and time again.
  3. Research and Development. Stay in touch with your customers and the market by developing goods that meet current trends and demands. Modern consumers are looking for products that are natural and healthy. By using colour measurement, companies can create products that look natural and are not full of artificial colourants, to create products that are not only healthy but also visually appealing.

Our customers typically work in the Quality Assurance department and can understand that controlling colour can be a task that is surrounded by debates between colleagues and customers. These debates are often unnecessary as colour can be controlled and communicated objectively.

As food colour is an important property of any food item, we would like to know what you think about colour and how you would control it?

Learn more about Food Sensing and how Food Processors use this to improve quality.