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You really do eat with your eyes – as celebrity chef Jozef Youssef proved at Ambiente

1 Feb 2024

They can strengthen brand identity, attract visual attention and even promote business: Award-winning celebrity chef Jozef Youssef demonstrated the power of colours to influence the sense of taste to the international hospitality elite at Ambiente, the leading consumer goods trade fair, on the Monday of the fair. On Hotelier's Day, he presented the results of his exclusive survey on a hot hospitality topic to industry participants. At the get-together in the HoReCa Academy, he took his guests on a colourful journey through his multi-sensory taste experience with a specially created finger food menu.

With the help of six coloured plates, three delicious desserts and several hundred tasters from four continents, Jozef Youssef, the award-winning celebrity chef and creative force behind the design studio Kitchen Theory, gained valuable insights into multisensory taste experiences. Under the title "The power of colour: How coloured tableware influences the perception of food", he conducted an online survey exclusively for Ambiente and investigated how the colour of plates affects the perception of taste. 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 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.

Multi-sensory experience: celebrity chef Jozef Youssef presented his exclusive survey to the hospitality industry at the HoReCa Academy at Ambiente. Photo: Messe Frankfurt/Pietro Sutera.
Multi-sensory experience: celebrity chef Jozef Youssef presented his exclusive survey to the hospitality industry at the HoReCa Academy at Ambiente. Photo: Messe Frankfurt/Pietro Sutera.

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.

With these results, the celebrity chef opens up new possibilities for the hospitality industry: Youssef concludes that the colour of the tableware can increase the appetite appeal and visual attractiveness of dishes. Visual attention can also be channeled: 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.

NEW: Trade fair dates 2025

Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will continue to take place at the same time at the Frankfurt exhibition centre. They will, however, be moved to the beginning of February to ensure that major global trade fair dates are aligned. In addition, the daily sequence of Creativeworld will be optimised in consultation with the industry. All three leading trade fairs will start on Friday. Creativeworld will continue to run for four days.

  • Ambiente/Christmasworld: 07 to 11 February 2025
  • Creativeworld: 07 to 10 February 2025

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