The effects of colour-product congruency on tastiness, attitudes, and intentions among Dutch and German consumers.

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Consumers’ decision process when buying food products can be affected by the colour of the packaging. Previous research has focused on cross-modal associations regarding the linkage of colours and flavours. However, not much is known about the role of culture on colour-product congruence, as well as the role of openness towards new products. Therefore, the present study assessed how congruent (typical packaging colours for Germany and the Netherlands) and incongruent packaging colours (untypical for both countries) of products advertised on Instagram could affect consumer expectations. These consumer expectations were defined as the perceived tastiness, attitude towards the product, and purchase intention, tested across two different nationalities, namely the Netherlands and Germany. The results showed that Dutch participants perceived products with German congruent packaging colours (e.g., paprika chips with red packaging) as more favourable than products with incongruent packaging colours (e.g., paprika chips with purple packaging). In comparison, German participants evaluated the German congruent packaging colours more positively than both Dutch congruent and incongruent packaging colours. Numerically, German consumers were more open to new products (i.e., innovativeness). For researchers, the study gives additional insights on cross-modal associations of food products and their packaging colours, namely that consumer expectations are indeed affected by colour-product congruence. Furthermore, the present study confirmed that Dutch participants scored higher on Hofstede’s cultural dimension ‘Individualism’ and lower in ‘Uncertainty Avoidance’ than German participants. Finally, marketers should be aware of the effect of colour congruence on product evaluations among different cultures.
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