Black is both slimming and flattering.
We happen to think there are few things more beautiful than fresh fruits and vegetables.
But we’re also fully prepared to admit that this isn’t necessarily a view held by the majority of Americans. For all of the work put into advertising and packaging most foods, fresh produce gets hardly anything—at least, on the shelf. A new study from industrial designers may have found a better way.
Fruits and vegetables in the US have been heavily manipulated through cross-breeding to be as pretty as they possibly can be, but that’s just about where the effort ends, in most cases. These pristine peaches, this beautiful broccoli—they just sit, lonely, on a shelf or in a bin.
The new study experimented with backgrounds. Is there a specific background color that might make produce really pop. They presented various fruits and vegetables against different colored backgrounds: blue, orange, white, black. Then the researchers asked their subjects to rate the produce based on what was the most attractive, and what looked the most expensive.
They also, for some reason, ranked the produce by what was considered the most attractive overall; there’s probably some selection bias, given that the 46 people in the study were all undergraduates at Brigham Young University, but they rated the yellow bell pepper to be the most attractive. Okay!
Anyway, the black background was found to by far enhance the attractiveness and “premiumness” of fruits and vegetables. The researchers go into some detail in their paper, examining the physical properties that cause a colored object to appear more desirable when placed on a black background, involving contrasting tones and the rods and cones and stuff. But the basic point is clear: if you want to sell more produce, or just sell for more money? Place your fruits and veggies on a black background.