Color For The Holidays

Dec 8, 2022Seasonal Flavor Insights

If you don’t live in a place that experiences four distinct seasonal weather changes, how do you feel the year passing by? Holidays, of course! And what’s the biggest change we see as we pass by weather changes and holidays? Color! Whether you’re trying to buy a new shirt, craft supplies, or some candy, the color varieties available will be influenced by the season or the nearest holiday.

Color Associations in Food and Beverages

One of the products consumers associate with seasonal change is food and beverages (in fact, 50% of consumers say they love seasonal offerings and they look forward to them coming out each season). So we got to thinking; do they also expect a certain color to accompany that seasonal item? It turns out they do.

When we asked consumers which beverages they associate with seasonal product offerings throughout the year, alcoholic beverages, flavored wine, liqueurs and cordials, juice smoothies, and flavored coffee creamer are the products that rose to the top. Consumers also noted that if a seasonal product is expected, the color should reflect the season. 

But what about food products, you ask? Yes, we asked consumers about food, too. They expected chocolate candies with filling, pre-packaged cookies, pre-packaged cakes, ice cream, and both chewy and hard candy to have seasonal varieties and for those products to have a color that reflected the season.

So what colors do consumers associate with each season?

Color Associations Per Season

Winter is strongly associated with white and a secondary color is light gray. (Those people must be the Northern and Midwesterners who know plowed snow turns gray!)

Spring is associated with vivid/bold green followed by both light and bold yellows.

Summer is most closely associated with vivid/bold yellow and some secondary associations are with vivid/bold blue and vivid/bold green.

Last, but not least, Fall is strongly associated with vivid/bold orange and secondarily with dark/deep brown.

How To Create A Rainbow Of Options

So what does this mean for brands who produce these products consumers expect to have seasonal offerings? One easy way to tie your product to the season is through color experiences. In the winter, our Michroma Plus Blue can give muted gray shades in chocolates for a cozy feeling. For springtime, our Vegebrite Ultimate Blue Spirulina green blends deliver an appealing and fresh green color for nutritious smoothies and key lime pie or mint-flavored ice creams. The excitement of summer can be experienced while enjoying refreshing popsicles or snack cakes in sunny hues created by using our Em-Seal beta-carotene colors. The coziness of fall can be expressed with annatto in your favorite orange savory snack (did someone say “potato chips?”) or hard candies! 

The other way to make a seasonal connection is via flavor. And yes, we’ve done extensive research on this too. If you are looking to make a stronger seasonal connection for your products, contact your Givaudan representative today to learn more.


1 Comment

  1. Steve Keene

    Wonderfully insightful article that slips in a good plug for Givaudan/NTX color offerings. I’ll pass along your well written, succinct article to my customers to spark their interests and imagination.


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