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Colour of food as a vector for children’s well-being

Pascale Ezan (Department of Management, Le Havre University, Le Havre, France)
Gaelle Pantin-Sohier (UFR Droit Economie Gestion, University of Angers, Angers, France)
Caroline Lancelot-Miltgen (Audencia Nantes, Nantes, France)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 7 January 2019

Issue publication date: 31 July 2019




A product colour plays an important role in consumers’ preferences. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the impact of the three-dimensional character of colour (brightness, saturation and vividness) on children’s behaviour towards a food product and as a source of well-being.


Two experiments were conducted. Study 1 was conducted with 62 children and used four visuals of syrup presenting two colours (red/green) and two variations of vividness (vivid/dim). Study 2 was conducted with 70 children and used four pictures of stewed apples and four pictures of pouches to test the influence of each dimension of colour on children’s preferences for the product and the product packaging.


Results show that the three-dimensional character of colour plays an important role in children’s gustatory inferences and well-being.

Research limitations/implications

The study is restricted to one food product (in each study) habitually consumed by children. Other products could be investigated to show how colour can contribute to children’s well-being.

Practical implications

The paper addresses the issue of well-being as a potential brand-positioning element.

Social implications

The paper suggests new avenues to use the brightness/saturation or vividness of a product or packaging colour as a potential element to arouse positive sensations that generate children’s well-being even when the product is not a preferred one.


This works initiates creative thinking concerning the impact of a product colour on children consumers.



The authors thank the regional program Enjeu[x] ( for their financial support.


Ezan, P., Pantin-Sohier, G. and Lancelot-Miltgen, C. (2019), "Colour of food as a vector for children’s well-being", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 47 No. 6, pp. 659-679.



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