Does colour affect our choice of food?

We wanted to have some fun and find out which colour food was more appetising. (any excuse for some chocolate!)

Here are the results of our ExperiTent:  Which colours are most appetising? activity.

Orange and purple were the most popular colours. Brown and red were the least popular.

Many people believed that the orange sweet ‘tasted’ of orange (official Smarties do contain a small amount of orange oil added to their outer shells however the sweets we used had no added orange oil).

Some believed they could ‘taste’ other flavours that are associated with the colour (such as banana and raspberry).

Because the colours were all from natural additives some didn’t appear to be very appetising (with the exception of the orange and purple); the brown appeared to be a tan colour and the red were more of a brown colour, which could have put people off choosing these. Plus,  the strong sunshine faded the pink ones!

In conclusion:

  • Bright, strong colours were more popular.
  • Dull, muted colours were least popular.
  • Flavour can sometimes be perceived in response to colour.
  • Orange was mainly chosen because of an expected ‘orange flavour’.
  • Purple was mainly chosen because it was a ‘favourite colour’.

Next time – we’ll use real smarties 🙂

Experi-TENT at Christchurch Food Festival 2019


Experi-TENT 11 and 12 May 2019

Why does Corn Pop? How much chemistry is in your shopping basket? How safe is your food? How can you be sure where your food comes from? If you can help explain any of these questions we’d love to have you join us in our Experi-TENT at the Christchurch Food Festival on 11 and 12 May on the Quomps in Christchurch. Our Experi-TENT is supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry Outreach Fund.

As well as bringing some science to the festival, we will be having a dialogue about creating a permanent science discovery centre at the end of Christchurch High Street as part of a planned new development in order to engage public input and support.

If you are interested in further details as a visitor or a volunteer please add your details here.

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