The colour conundrum: Red or green packaging for plant-based meat?

A recent study​ by ‘food awareness’ non-profit ProVeg International revealed that meat eaters are more willing to try plant-based meat alternatives if they are clad in red packaging.

The study found that 56% of consumers in the UK, and 54% in the US, mentally connect the colour red with superior taste when it comes to plant-based meat.

This is despite the fact that, according to ProVeg, most plant-based meat alternatives actually have green packaging, including prominent brands such as Beyond Meat.

The packaging of any product has a lot of influence how a consumer will perceive said product before they buy it. According to ProVeg’s research, 65% of consumers admitted that colour has a significant affect on what they buy.

The colour of packaging is an extremely important way to demarcate which type of consumer a brand is targeting. It can completely change how a consumer perceives a product, and in turn affect whether said consumer will buy it.

Which consumers want red packaging?

According to ProVeg’s research, orange packaging was the most likely to provoke consumers to purchase plant-based meat regularly, and use it as a replacement for conventional meat; and it was blue that prompted consumers to pay a higher price. Yet it is red that appeals the most to meat eaters. Why?

“Consumers often associate the colour red with tastiness due to its strong visual and psychological impact. Red is a stimulating colour that evokes excitement and passion, closely linked to the sensory experience of eating flavourful foods. Historically, red has been associated with ripeness and freshness in foods such as berries, tomatoes, and meat, reinforcing the perception of tastiness,” Ajsa Spahic, Project Coordinator at ProVeg International, and the report’s research lead, told FoodNavigator.