New research by Pro Veg International reveals that regular meat eaters are more likely to choose a plant-based alternative if it's packaged in red. The study explores the impact of colors on consumer perceptions and preferences in the plant-based food industry, concluding that red packaging can reshape consumer behavior and prompt a shift toward plant-based meat.

Color Psychology: Red Packaging Boosts Plant-Based Meat Appeal

New research by Pro Veg International suggests that regular meat eaters are more inclined to choose a plant-based alternative if it's packaged in red. Despite green being commonly associated with healthiness and eco-consciousness in plant-based packaging, the study found that red was the color most often associated with tastiness by people of all dietary backgrounds.

“Previous studies have shown that colors evoke subconscious emotional reactions. Yet, little attention has been given to how colors specifically affect perceptions of plant-based products,” said researcher and author of the report, Ajsa Spahic.

The study surveyed 1,200 participants, predominantly self-described omnivores, from both the US and the UK. Participants were asked about their feelings and opinions when exposed to vegetarian and vegan products packaged in various warm and cool tones – green, blue, purple, yellow, orange, or red.

“The color red has been shown to arouse and stimulate, so we wanted to see how people responded to red in plant-based packaging. Remarkably, our study found that people who regularly consume meat were more inclined to try a plant-based protein for the first time when it was packaged in red,” said Spahic.

The study concluded that over half of UK consumers (56%) and US consumers (54%) connect the color red with superior taste in plant-based meat. Using appealing colors in product packaging has the power to reshape consumer behavior and prompt a shift toward plant-based meat.

“First impressions matter because we eat with our eyes as well as with our mouth. Simply using red packaging made people more willing to experiment with vegetarian and vegan foods,” said Spahic.


Keywords

plant-based meat , color psychology , packaging , consumer behavior , red packaging , Pro Veg International

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