Have you ever wondered why almost all the fast food chains use the same color scheme for all their logos? McDonalds, Wendy’s, Chic Fila, and many more all use the color red and yellow in their logos. Could this just be by chance, or is there a correlation between them.
While researching this topic, I found that there are certain colors that make people un-interested in eating, such as blue and purple. You may wonder why a blueberry doesn’t look as appetizing as a strawberry does and you can blame your ancestors for that. In this article , it is said then when our ancient ancestors were searching for food, they would avoid the colors blue, black, and purple because they associated those colors with mold and being spoiled. For example, when Burger Kings came out with its Halloween themed burger which consisted of black buns, my first thought was that it looks disgusting. Maybe that is because I am used to golden brown buns on burgers, but it could also be related to our primitive instincts to stay away from those colors. This could be a reason why most fast food companies tend to stay away from those colors when advertising their food.
In this same article, they explain why so many fast food companies use the combination of red and yellow for their advertisement. From what Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute stated, the color red seems to increase our heart rate, which then makes us feel more energized and passionate. It’s a no wonder why the color red raises you heart rate, sine that color is associated with evil in many places. They also found that the color yellow makes people feel happier. So you can only imagine why food companies would choose these two colors, one makes you happy and the other makes you passionate.
I started to wonder why only fast food companies use these certain colors but companies like Starbucks and Dunkin Doughnuts don’t. Psychologist explained that the colors orange and pink (Dunkin Doughnuts) are associated with enthusiasm and love. While the color green (Starbucks) makes people think more about the earth and serenity. It is weird that companies who serve basically the same product use such different colors, but still tend to do just as well as each other. That got me thinking that maybe color does more than just affect your mood, maybe it could affect your taste as well.
It turns out that your brain is actually affected by color when tasting something. This article tells us that there is a condition in our body, which is called synaesthesia which to put in simple terms, makes us assume a taste or feeling before we actually eat or touch it. For example, if you were given a drink red drink, you would assume it is fruit punch before you even taste it. This can affect the way taste things based off prior experience. There is a study where a teacher made her student put 3 different colors in water bottles, and then give taste test to other students to see what “flavor” they enjoyed more. All the water was the same and had no other flavoring, yet students still seemed to pick the blue colored drink. They said that they enjoyed the blueberry-flavored water the best.
This study perfectly shows how people will assume a taste just because of the color it has. The interesting thing about this study is that blue was the favorite flavor, even though as I just stated, blue is a color associated with mold and people tend to stay away from that color when eating.
To conclude, there seems to be a correlation between the colors fast food companies used and the popularity of their store. The more yellow and red a company seems to use, the more popular it is. The darker colors seems to dis-interested people from eating, but in some cases such as Starbucks, it actually attracts you to drink their product. So if you want to open a restaurant, think about using red or yellow lettering and stay away from colors such as blue.