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Friday, June 14, 2024

The color red keeps consumers focused on package labels, a new UF study suggests.

Zhifeng Gao, a UF professor of food and resource economics who led the study, said he wanted to know if color helps draw consumers’ attention to information on food labels.

Gao got the idea for the study when one of his former students tried to study how emotion affects consumer choice. He realized few had researched how food-label color affected consumer food choice.

Gao said the study, conducted in 2015, used labels on strawberry packages to draw conclusions.

For the study, researchers compared red labels with blue labels. The research team conducted an online survey of about 340 respondents. They showed participants two types of labels for packages of strawberries. Each label had the same information in black text, but one label had a red background and the other had a blue background.

Gao said people looked at the red labels longer before making a decision. He said red makes people more vigilant, and blue makes people feel more relaxed.

He said food marketers should consider background color and font color when trying to sell their packages, and consumers should avoid their tricks.

“For newer generations, the important thing, like that for the general consumer, is that when making choice of food, they should try to avoid the impact of the marketing tricks, such as color or a fancy package on their choice,” he said.

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