Driving Food & Beverages Sales Through Color and Texture

small business grocery store

Photo: Storefront in Istanbul, Turkey.

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The impact social media photo sharing

Nowadays, the increasing trend of sharing photos on social media creates an interactive experience beyond just food consumption, especially on Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and other image-centric sites.

The product becomes more than just food; it becomes an expression, an art form, a story to share and show others. With the "Tweet and Eat" phenomenon becoming more and more popular, especially for younger generations like millennials, the power of color and texture are appealing tools to engage the senses and deliver share-worthy photo experiences.

According to the celebrated Mintel’s 2018 Global Food & Drink Trends, ‘Eat With Your Eyes’ continues to be a stable trend. It observes the potential for food and beverages to involve more of the senses through color, shape, texture, aroma and other formulation elements.

The sound, feel, and satisfaction that a food’s texture provides will become more and more relevant to companies and consumers equally. Of the various sensory-engaging properties identified, texture has a particular opportunity to follow the lead of color, which has become the main feature to attract more of the senses.

Colors used in packaging should express product flavor.

The brain should be able to immediately perceive what the product is all about without too much thinking. “Remember that at the shopper’s first sight, your product packaging has a maximum of two seconds to make a claim, connect with the buyer, and receive a closer examination.

Packaging that does not succeed at this two-second test gets passed over in favor of a competitor”*. To attract consumer's attention and deliver positive results, reinforce flavor visually (including images if possible, not just color), so your product will trigger as many senses as possible, even subconsciously.

Food has the added advantage of conveying taste, smell, feelings, and memories, so use it to your favor in your product packaging to make that immediate emotional connection work with the consumer.

Creating products with an excellent aesthetic appearance

Creating products with an excellent aesthetic appearance to prevail in a culture centered on sharing images in social media should be a top priority for every food manufacturer.

At the same time, the fact that consumers are increasingly demanding simpler ingredients and more natural recipes should not be ignored. With the fast-growing chemophobia (the extreme belief that if something is of a natural origin, it is inherently good and if its source is synthetic or industrial it is not), linked to the eagerness of many consumers to read a label’s nutrition in extreme detail, any chemical name might scare potential buyers.

Therefore, balancing the shelf life, the visual appeal, and worth of the food, and the stability of natural food coloring is critical to succeed both in retail shelves and restaurants.

This dialogue from “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover” by Peter Greenaway illustrate these concepts clearly:

  • “When you make out a menu, how do you price each dish?”
  • “I charge a lot for anything black: grapes, olives, blackcurrants. People like to remind themselves of death, eating black food is like consuming death, like saying, "Death, I'm eating you." Black truffles are the most expensive. And caviar. Death and birth. The end and the beginning. Don't you think that it's appropriate that the most expensive items are black? We also charge for vanity. Diet foods have an additional surcharge of 30%, aphrodisiacs, 50%…”

Related articles:

The 10 Superpowers of Packaging- Part 1

The 10 Superpowers of Packaging- Part 2

10 Powerful Branding Tips for Small Business 

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About the author

Silvina Rodriguez Picaro

Silvina Rodriguez Picaro is a Branding Expert, Entrepreneur, Speaker, and Author.She founded SRP Communication & Brand Design, SRP Interactive, and SRP Health Care Communication. Her educational background includes a Master’s degree in Corporate Communications from the Business and Social Sciences University (UCES) and an MBA in Marketing from Salvador University (USAL) and the State University of New York (SUNY). She is a seasoned expert, and her work was recognized with more than hundred awards. Among her clients are companies such as Amadeus, Archroma, BASF, Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Burson-Marsteller, Cargill, Casasco, Celistics, Clariant, Edelman, Electrolux, Fleishman-Hillard, Gador, Goldcorp, Grupo OPSA, Logitech, Novartis, Prosegur, Suzuki, The Fertility & IVF Center of Miami and Toyota. Her passion is to apply her experience serving global corporations to small business.

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