The context of colour-flavour associations in crisps packaging: A cross-cultural study comparing Chinese, Colombian, and British consumers
Velasco C., Wan X., Salgado-Montejo A., Woods A., Oñate GA., Mu B., Spence C.
Consumers often associate particular packaging colours with specific flavours. However, further research is needed in order to assess the extent to which these crossmodal associations (or correspondences) vary as a function of culture. Here, we report on the results of an online study designed to assess any cross-cultural differences in colour-flavour associations in the packaging of crisps. By comparing Colombian, Chinese, and British participants, we were able to demonstrate that certain correspondences are consistent across culture, whereas others vary. Closer inspection of the data revealed that those associations corresponding to natural parings in the environment such as "tomato" with red and "cucumber" with green can be found across countries, whereas other more complex flavours such as "salt and vinegar" or unspecified flavours such as "natural" or "original", tend to have different colour associations depending on the country. These latter associations may only be consistent in those countries in which they exist and have been learned, or internalized, by the consumer (in Colombia, for instance, the "natural" flavour is signified by blue packaging). The results are discussed in the context of crossmodal correspondences and directions for future research are provided. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.