When it comes to the things we eat, the way food looks is in many ways more important than how it actually tastes.
Or, at least, the way it looks has a lot to do with the way our brains tell us it will taste.
If we associate bright red fruits with sweetness, we expect bright red fruits to be sweet, and that expectation can often be more powerful than the physical act of tasting. Numerous studies prove this, one of which asked subjects to identify if a drink was orange-flavored. When blindfolded, only one in five people could do so. Consequently, a lime drink with orange coloring was identified as orange flavored by almost half of the participants. But everybody got it right when the drink was green.
Taste is an experience, influenced by a huge number of external factors. As if just making foods and beverages wasn’t complicated enough, the packaging, labels, and store displays all have an opportunity to preconfigure someone’s tastebuds for that first bite or sip.