Color-Shape Alignments (08-27-21)

De Sousa and colleagues studied associations to shapes and colors, finding that consistency among them in packaging elements is important.  They report that “participants expected the coffee associated with the pink label to taste sweeter than the green labeled coffee, whereas the coffee associated with the green label was expected to be more acidic than the pink labeled coffee. . . . consumers’ expectations did not carry over to influence the actual tasting experience. . . .previous literature show[ed] . . . the angular shape increased the expectation of acidity when compared to the round shape. . . . expectations triggered by shape of the design elements of the packaging label did not go on to influence the actual drinking experience. . . . The coffee associated with the angular/green [that is, a label that is angular and green] or the round/pink labels received higher liking and purchase intent ratings than the angular/pink and the round/green ones, respectively.”  The de Sousa lead team notes that previous research (Spence et al., 2015) has shown that pink is linked to sweet tastes and green to sour ones.  Prior studies have also linked sweeter flavors to rounder shapes and those that are bitter or acidic to angular ones.

Maisa de Sousa, Fabiana Carvalho, and Rosemary Pereira.  2020. “Colour and Shape of Design Elements of the Packaging Labels Influence Consumer Expectations and Hedonic Judgments of Specialty Coffee.”  Food Quality and Preference, vol. 83, 103902,