In the competitive world of specialty coffee, the role of color is pivotal. It goes beyond mere aesthetics; it becomes a statement. The right color for your branding can evoke emotions, convey a message, and ultimately create a lasting impression. Our Savor Brands Director of Coffee Marc Marquez partnered with the founder of the Coffee Sensorium Dr. Fabiana Carvalho to explore the effects of packaging color on the perception of specialty coffee.
Online surveys were given out to a target demographic for preparation for the in-person study. Savor Brands created the faux brand, Sensori Coffee for this research to eliminate any biases of any real and established brands. Through the online survey, Dr. Carvalho and her team were able to determine that pink and brown were the most distinct colors. Participants associated floral, berry, tropical with pink and cocoa and nutty with brown which also aligns with the color scheme of the SCA Flavor Wheel. The Sensori Coffee packaging was brought to life by printing 100% and 50% saturation versions of both pink and brown. In-person studies took place in September 2022 at both Rose Park Coffee Roasters and Black & White Coffee Roasters. A total of 226 tasters participated in the in-person studies and at the end of each group, Dr. Carvalho was able to share with the participants that the same batch brew coffee was used throughout the experience. Many participants expressed that packaging did influence their expectation, impression, and overall flavor perception of the coffee. In fact, many participants valued the coffee from the pink bag higher than the brown bag and control (no bag) by over $1 more. Through this research, it highlights just how powerful color for packaging can be. It goes beyond aesthetics as packaging has the power to influence customers’ purchasing decisions and their flavor experience and expectations. The best color you can choose for your coffee brand ultimately depends on your brand’s personality and the type of impression you want to leave with your customers.
Color Brand Talk
Here are 4 tips to keep in mind when deciding a color for your coffee brand: 1) Be unique: With the competitive nature of the specialty coffee space, choose a color that sets you apart from your competitors. 2) Know your target market: Understanding your target demographic’s preferences will help in determining a color. Think about the type of colors that will resonate with them and the type of impression you want to leave your customers with. 3) Versatility: Ensure that your chosen color can be incorporated and used in various aspects of your business ranging from branding, packaging, logos, and other marketing materials. 4) Test it out: Don’t be afraid to test out different colors until you find one that resonates best with your brand and target demographic. Ultimately, the best color for your coffee brand is one that authentically represents your values and connects with your target audience. Color and packaging are powerful tools that go beyond visual aesthetics and can steer not only a customer’s purchasing decision but also enhances their expectation to flavor perception of your coffee.
Color Brand Smiles
Special thanks to the following for their contributions to this research:
  • Peter Giuliano, Chief Research Officer & Executive Director at the Coffee Science Foundation
  • Mary Basco, Research & Knowledge Development Programs Manager at the Specialty Coffee Association
  • Dr. Fabiana Carvalho, Founder of The Coffee Sensorium
  • Renata Shimizu Forner, R&D/QA Food Service Engineer at Memo Eating
  • Lem Butler, Owner of Black & White Coffee Roasters
  • Andrew Phillips, Owner of Rose Park Coffee Roasters

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