How Colorful Food and Décor Affect Your Attendees’ Mood

Taste (and feel) the colors of the rainbow

We all know that seeing certain colors can have a profound effect on our mood. But what’s lesser known is what occurs when we consume those colors. 

As research has shown, different food colors can trigger our pulse, respiratory and blood pressure levels to fluctuate, as our brains subconsciously decide what a color will taste like before it touches our mouths. Think about it: When you were a kid, did you believe one color in a bowl of Froot Loops or bag of M&M’s was superior to another? Our brains automatically associate certain hues with happiness or preferential taste. (Red pieces were far superior, obviously!)

So what does this mean for your meeting menu and décor? Here, we discuss what effect four popular hues will have on your attendees. 

1. Code Red 

From stoplights to red lipstick to warning lights, red prompts us to act. Naturally, when it comes to food, red signals that we should consume more, too.

For a meeting where your attendees’ attention (and action) is critical, consider using rouge décor and menu items such as tomatoes, watermelon, cherries and other fruits as stimulation. Just keep the red food to fruits and veggies (versus confectionary treats) to keep attendees from overconsuming! 

2. Go Golden 

The color of sunshine and dandelions, orange and yellow elicit joy and optimism. With food, are those feelings of bliss any different? From cornbread to cake to sweet potato pie, those yellow- and orange-hued foods are usually associated with comfort. 

Weather slated to be dreary the day of your meeting? Yellow or orange décor and food items should brighten up the room (at least temporarily). Keeping the yellow food as sweet treats can also enhance the happy. 

3. Purple Reign

Almost magical, purple is often associated with creativity and imagination. But did you know it’s also 2017’s newest health food trend

Violet-hued produce such as purple cauliflower, purple asparagus, eggplant, elderberries, acai, purple sweet potatoes and purple corn are packed with antioxidants, which help fight off disease and reduce inflammation.

Need a snack to serve for a morning or midafternoon brainstorm session? These yummy (and healthy) acai bowls should do the trick.

4. White Out 

Although we typically associate white foods with being salty, using cream or white food items or decoration in your meeting can have a decidedly different effect on attendees than any other color. Or, for lack of a better phrase, no effect. 

White doesn’t do much to stimulate the senses, so if you’re not looking to alter your attendees’ mood or perception (which is plausible), stick with a blank slate.