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Coffee is one of the world's most frequently consumed beverages, and coffee culture is an increasingly popular phenomenon across the world. Atmospheric elements are especially important for the design of coffee shops. However, it is still unclear how the visual atmospherics (e.g., colour scheme, lightness) of coffee shop interiors influence the consumer's evaluations of coffee shops and their expectations concerning the coffee beverages they serve. The present research was designed to understand the role of one aspect of the visual atmosphere, namely the colour parameters of the interiors of coffee shop, on the consumer evaluation of the coffee shops themselves and on the expected sensory properties of the coffees served there. Ratings of taste expectations, likelihood of visiting, and emotions were evaluated for each of 50 coffee shop images and averaged across 65 participants. The color parameters (L*, a*, b*, saturation) of the coffee shop interior were calculated using digital image analysis. The results demonstrate that more reddish and lighter coloured coffee shop images were associated with the expectation that the coffee shop would serve a sweeter coffee, while more greenish and darker coloured coffee shop images were associated with more sour/bitter/tastier coffee expectations as well as a higher likelihood of visiting. Moreover, emotions, specifically feelings of calmness, mediated the relation between color parameters and taste expectations/likelihood of visiting. Taken together, these results provide evidence on the role of visual atmospherics of coffee shops on consumer evaluations and provide a number of practical implications for the coffee outlets/cafes.

Original publication




Journal article


Food Quality and Preference

Publication Date