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Effects of packaging color on expected flavor, texture, and liking of chocolate

 

Recent research has shown that the colors of plateware, glassware, cups, packaging, and even of the ambient and its lighting are able to influence consumers’ preferences, expectations, and perceptions of taste, aroma, texture, and liking of food and beverages. A Brazilian study contributes to the subject by investigating how packaging colors affect the expectations of sweetness, bitterness, fruitiness, melting, and liking for chocolates in Brazil and France. The results were published in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science.

Two groups of 210 consumers (N = 420), one from each country, evaluated samples of milk and dark chocolate packaged in seven colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, pink, and yellow. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey-Kramer’s test indicated that there were multiple significant effects of packaging color on consumers’ expectations. Multiple factor analysis (MFA) showed that expected sweetness, fruitiness, and liking were correlated to each other and inversely correlated to expected bitterness. While both chocolates were expected the least sweet and the most bitter when in black packaging, they were expected the sweetest and the least bitter when in yellow or pink packaging. Interestingly, the same black packaging made the milk chocolate the best rated and the dark chocolate the worst rated on expected liking, showing that a packaging color may have inverse effects on hedonic ratings depending on the type of chocolate. Although French consumers eat more chocolate and with higher cocoa content than Brazilians, the effects of packaging color were not significantly different between cultures.

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