Chef Jozef Youssef proves coloured tableware influences sense of taste at Ambiente’s HoReCa Academy

Chef Jozef Youssef demonstrated the power of coloured tableware to influence the sense of taste at leading consumer goods trade fair Ambiente.

Under the title “The power of colour: How coloured tableware influences the perception of food”, Youssef conducted an online survey exclusively for Ambiente, investigating how the colour of plates affects the perception of taste. On Hotelier’s Day, he presented the results of his exclusive survey at the HoReCa Academy, taking attendees on a colourful journey through his multi-sensory taste experience with a specially-created finger food menu.

To this end, the celebrity chef selected three desserts that are familiar and recognisable in different cultures: granola with fruit and yoghurt, fruit salad with ice cream and a slice of chocolate cake with ice cream. He presented them on plates from exhibitors Bonna, Maham Studio Revol, Rosenthal, Steelite International and Villeroy & Boch – in the colours blue, yellow, green, white and red.

The participating tasters from four continents rated the desserts served on the colourful plates according to appetite, healthiness and sweetness. Youssef presented the extent to which the coloured plates stimulate the appetite, influence the healthiness of the food and the perception of sweetness at the Hotelier’s Day get-together at the HoReCa Academy.

The analysis of the survey showed that red plates for desserts such as chocolate cake increased the perception of sweetness. Dishes on yellow plates appeared particularly stimulating and appetising, especially for fruit and fruit dishes. The blue, green and white plates made all dishes appear healthier. All dishes on black plates were rated as the least appetising, healthy or sweet.

Youssef concludes that the colour of the tableware can increase the appetite appeal and visual attractiveness of dishes. Visual attention can also be channelled; colours could illustrate the menu offering in a supportive way and thus announce seasonal dishes or special occasions. The colour of the plate can also influence taste expectations and aroma, especially with desserts. Coloured tableware therefore enables catering to be tailored to the target group by serving different requirements and creating individual taste experiences.

Coloured tableware also creates a special atmosphere and strengthens the overall impression of the establishment if it matches its furnishings and interior design. It also strengthens the brand and brand identity. Restaurateurs and hoteliers can use the influence of coloured tableware to meet the expectations and perceptions of guests, to optimise marketing strategies and to create unique taste experiences – for long-term business success and satisfied customers.

The next edition of Ambiente will take place on 7-11 February 2025.