The Meaning of Purple

By CRAIG KUNCE

Purple is regal, mysterious, royal, luxurious, passionate, sensuous, spiritual, dignified, extravagant, and magical. Purple is not a mainstream packaging choice because of the mixed messages it sends to consumers. Throughout history, purple, black and gray were most often associated with rotten or spoiled foods that shouldn’t be eaten. Some scientists believe that this message has been subconsciously passed down through generations and still affects consumers’ food and packaging choices. The exceptions are food products targeted to young audiences and purple colored food such as grape juice, eggplant, and grape flavored candy and beverages. Kids have shown a preference for oddly colored foods such as bright green, purple, orange, and yellow. However, these colors are usually associated with the flavor of the food, such as green apple or purple grape candy and juice drinks.

Because of its perceived mixed-message response from consumers, a large number of manufacturers tend to stay away from it. This leaves an opportunity for many brands to own this well liked color in the minds of their category’s consumer base. Purple is primarily used to market products and services to women and young children. Purple is also used to market products that have a higher perceived value such as perfumes, jewelry, furniture, clothing, and shoes.