How the Color of Food Affects Your Appetite

Colors are everywhere. And for good reason, too.

Colors can make you feel excited, peaceful or even hungry.

We see this often in restaurant logos such, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Dairy Queen – need we say more?

They all use the same colors – red, yellow, orange, etc. But, this is no coincidence.

So, the next time you start having a fast food craving while driving down Mission Street, it may be due to the response the colors are triggering mentally and not because your lunch wasn’t big enough.


Impulsiveness and excitement are the emotions associated with this bright color.

Restaurants want to evoke these emotions to draw you in to purchasing food, as well as when looking at the menu. They want you to get excited about a burger and the color red will evoke this emotion and make you want to buy more food, and eat more!

Next time you think you want to splurge on some food at a restaurant, stop and look around at the surrounding colors and decide if you really feel hungry.


This warm color can also help trigger some feelings of hunger in you as well.

Orange is lively and vibrant, and also seen in many fast food restaurants – it makes people feel comfortable and hungry.

Orange helps end the hesitation people face when deciding if they should stop in and order. Beware of this color if a certain restaurant logo always seems to make you have a quick cheeseburger craving.


Yellow makes people feel happy because it makes your brain release more serotonin, a chemical that triggers a happy response.

And, when people are feeling good, they will often splurge and decide to get dessert or another drink at a restaurant.

If you are feeling like ordering everything on the menu, look around, odds are you’re surrounded by yellow.


Blue actually suppresses your appetite and is used by many weight loss companies, diet programs and gyms.

Most foods are not blue so we do not naturally associate it with hunger.

If you are looking for a way to feel less hungry, try surrounding yourself with blue things. Blue can also be calming and help you de-stress.

Even foods that are dyed blue are shown to be less appealing to people, even if they taste good.

GC Tip: Blue lights can be put in your refrigerator to help discourage you from reaching in for  that late night snack.


Another appetite suppressing color is pink.

Pink is often associated with romance and love, but when it comes to food, people often have negative associations with the color.

It is somewhat unnatural in food and is often associated with raw meat or artificial preservatives. These negative associations usually lead people away from eating pink food or feeling hungry around them at all.

Color Me Hungry

When you pass a restaurant sign decked out in red, yellow and orange and start to get really hungry stop and assess if you truly are. Colors are everywhere so appreciate their beauty, but also don’t let them fool you.