Conveying Taste through Color (Part 2): Culture

Colors are all around us and often play a more significant role in our lives than we realize, especially when it comes to what we consume. The way we interact with the rainbow of colors around us is impacted by numerous factors, especially our personal experiences and unique backgrounds.

Certain colors hold a special significance in various cultures and are symbolic of beliefs, emotions and actions that comprise our daily lives. Our perception of the relationship between taste and color is impacted by culture as well. In a study by the American Psychological Association, Taiwanese and British teens were presented with a light blue beverage and asked to describe what flavor they expected to taste. The Taiwanese teens believed they would taste mint from the drink, and the British teens believed it would taste raspberry. Color has the potential to aid in taste perception, which is partly shaped by one’s culture.

In addition to traditional culture, pop culture and color also have a unique relationship that can influence what we consume. According to Mintel, for example, Pantone’s color of the year, Viva Magenta, and the trend of dressing in powerful pink hues paired with the Barbie movie release this summer have all contributed to further industry developments involving all things pink. Among them, the refined version of the viral Pink Sauce appearing on store shelves and dragon fruit being named the flavor of the year. Mintel points to the fact that pink food items are not only social media-friendly, but ingredients such as beetroot and pomegranate provide the opportunity to be on trend while offering worthwhile health benefits. Dare to push creative boundaries with color by playing into trends that consumers are eager to interact with.

By utilizing color as a tool, brands such as Barbie, with her signature pink, have the power to become engrained in culture. The American Psychological Association acknowledges that visual appearance is essential, fostering the formation of solid brand associations among consumers.

At Sensient, we meet at the intersection of flavor, color, and culture to create solutions that make sense as they pertain to your ingredient needs; it’s in our name. Our team of experts will be your dedicated partner in creating thoughtful flavor and color pairings that speak to consumers, telling your unique story.

Color us excited- we’re here to help.