Colours in Food

We recently collaborated with PepsiCo Design & Innovation and SPD Milan on a workshop that PepsiCo sponsored for the master’s degree program on food design. In the workshop, the students explored ways to promote good nutrition using the colors of food. The brief was to ideate product systems that enable people to combine colors, and to create exciting and meaningful eating experiences. According to Federico Casotto, who leads our Food Lab, and who was in charge of the project from our side,

“Colors in food are more and more connected to health and authenticity these days. 
Unhealthy, over-processed food is sometimes even referred to as “brown food” that is lacking the cheerful variety of colors found in healthy vegetables. Many food companies exploit – and, at the same time, promote – this association by showing the vibrant, natural colors of their products. This is made possible by new technologies such as HPP (High Pressure Processing) and REV (Radiant Energy Vacuum) that allow for the processing and stabilizing of foods without affecting their colors or their nutritional properties. This shows how colors and nutritional properties of food go hand in hand.”

Here are some of the ideas that came out of the process:


The Abstract Kit (above) includes edible paper, fresh vegetable creamy soups in place of paint, and drawing tools. It allows children to play with food, and to learn to enjoy new flavors. After creating the edible masterpieces, you just fold the paper and eat it. By Lucia Amaddeo, Joaquim Fernandes, and Patty S.

Dip ’n’ Dish is a system of colored, edible corn tortilla bowls and dips, ideal for a healthy, fun, and light aperitivo with friends. The cleverly designed plastic pouch is easy to use in customizing the snacks and creating interesting color and flavor combinations. Designed by Magdalena Ackermann, Giulia Da Mommio, Christie Liberatore and Chiao Yin.

Falafull (below) is falafel with a crispy veggie outside and creamy hummus filling – a perfect, colorful snack or party finger food. By Linda Klock, Cristobal Noguera and Tina Wu.

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Plant-based proteins tend to mimic meat as veggie burgers and lunch meats. The Veg Egg (below) proposes another reference to shape plant-based proteins. It is made from a mix of cauliflower, chickpea, and hemp seeds, and includes a wide range of essential amino acids. The colors – along with flavors and added vitamin content – are created with beetroot, spinach, and turmeric. By Claire Chao, Varvara Batsiou, Katinka Versendaal and Pietro Totaro.


The healthy breakfast roll set includes seven different colored and flavored rolls and dipping sauces. According to some scientific research, eating seven ingredients with seven different colors together is ideal for attaining optimal health benefits. The rolls also include oats for energy and come with nut toppings on the side, which means it contains all the nutrients needed for a complete meal. Wrapped in rice paper, they are a convenient and colorful start to the day. By Roberta Doppiu, Zoe Hegedus, Yang Li and Gaurav Mehra.

Rainbow Rolls 2

Rainbow Rolls 3

Color Your Soup is a concept for quick to prepare, delicious and colorful soups. The frozen vegetable pearls are made from vegetable purees, which have been cooked and seasoned. The consumer prepares the soup by selecting different vegetable ‘pearls’ – yellow for pumpkin, green for peas, red for beetroot, and so on – which create an artwork in the bowl and microwave them for two minutes. By Gabriela Munera Santos, Anastasia Naryadko, Aysel Huseynova, and Shloka Kumar.


SuperFoodles are noodles made with 100% superfood vegetables. The idea – and the process – is the same as with instant noodles, but the meal is more colorful and nutritious. By Maud de Rohan Willner, Emilia Ospina, Suppakarn Kijsupanonth and Beibei Wu.


BOOM is veggie finger food that transforms in the microwave. In the oven, the previously hidden insides – colorful vegetables – appear as a surprise to the eater. By Elisa di Prospero, Paula Górriz, Eynyoung Kwon, Tanya Thapanand.


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