Black background enhances fresh produce

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Purple tomato

A joint study between Brigham Young University in Utah, the United States and the Delft University of Technology claimed to have found a way to get people to buy more fresh produce. Conducted by American professor Bryan Howell and Dutch professor Hendrick Schifferstein, the study looks at how the backgrounds of grocery store displays impact the attractiveness of vegetables, and a black background is apparently the best.

Howell said that in the design world, black has always been the cool colour, but didn’t know it would carry over into the vegetable world. Both researchers asked 46 participants to assess five vegetables on various shades of backgrounds between black and white. The study participants gave attractiveness and perceived expensiveness ratings for the mushroom, bell pepper, carrot, tomato, and eggplant against each background. These are all commonly sold vegetables in the United States and the Netherlands.

“Yellow peppers were rated as the most attractive and expensive across all the white, grey and black backgrounds, while carrots generally rated the least attractive and expensive. However, carrots got the biggest boost in ratings when paired with a black background, even jumping eggplants and mushrooms in attractiveness.”

Locally, my only concern is the ridiculous amount of plastic packaging on vegetables in some Dutch supermarkets. An entire plastic tray for two avocados with plastic around as well is too much plastic for me and I wish we’d worry about that.

(Link: phys.org, Photo: gelderlander.nl)

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