When we talk about the effect of color we often talk about our emotional responses to the color of a room or the color someone is wearing but one of our most powerful reactions to color is in the food we eat.
Have you ever tried putting purple ketchup on your fries or been offered green mashed potatoes? If so, you may have experienced the profound effect color has on your food preferences.
It is easiest for us to accept foods in their natural colors. Most adults also seem to accept bright or neon colors for confections such as cake icing, m&ms and popsicles but not in most other types of food products.
Following the success Heinz had with changing the color of ketchup Parkay thought that coloring their margarine electric blue and shocking pink would spur sales. I personally have never cared for margarine and changing the color from "butter yellow" to pink or blue wouldn't make me buy it but then again I am considerably older than the target market for these funky colored foods which is 13 or younger.
One product that approached the color change a bit differently was "mystery" Cheetos. While keeping their traditional bright orange appearance they changed your tongue to either green or blue when you ate them. The mystery was that you did't know what color until you put them in your mouth and the water soluable additive was activated.
While food in unexpected colors is fun for kids most adults find "out of the ordinary" colors unappealing. Regardless of the fact that there may fundamentally be no difference in taste because our reactions to color is more emotional than intellectual it is tough to change an ingrained perception of what color a food is suppose to be especially for an adult.