Red Solo Cup was a big hit for Country music star Toby Keith…a song about a plastic cup most often used for drinking keg beer…at least that’s how I use it.  The video is funny but the concept of color science and food is no laughing matter.  The color of your cup can make the drink inside it more--or less--enticing. In other words, the color of a plate or cup can actually influence how your senses perceive the food or beverage, enhancing the taste and aroma.

Scientists from England and Spain invited 57 men and women to enjoy samples of hot chocolate that were served to them in four different plastic cups. All the cups were the same size and all were white on the inside, but each was a different color on the outside: white, cream, red or orange. The hot chocolate served in all the cups was the same, and the color of the cup did not affect the flavor or the smell of the beverage. The study participants agreed that the hot chocolate in the cream cup was slightly sweeter and more aromatic than the hot chocolate in the other colored cups. The study findings could offer insight into not only how the brain integrates visual information from food, but also the effect of the container in which it is served. Chefs, caterers, food-packaging professionals and moms with picky eaters should pay heed!

Well played Toby Keith, well played.  Let’s tip a glass and enjoy the taste and aroma benefits of the Red Solo Cup!