What Makes an Effective Food Display?

Food displays are one of the most enticing point of purchase displays in any retail establishment. When placed front and center, sales on impulse food items can skyrocket. But they must be displayed effectively. Everything from the lighting to the placement and accessibility can make a difference in sales, and even the smallest changes can lead to big results. 

When designing a custom food display for your products, follow these best practices.

Strategically Choose the Right Colors

The average human eye, barring any medical conditions, can process 100 different color shades, amounting to around a million combinations of colors that can be visually processed. Color is one of the most potent eye-catching aspects of a display, especially if it stands out from its surroundings. 

Think about the area in which the food display will be placed. The best way to make it stand out and attract customers is to choose color options that contrast (but still look nice with) the colors that are present in the retail environment. Remember that bright colors tend to garner more attention. Also, keep in mind the colors of the food that will be placed in the display. These items need to be the star of the show; they are the main draw to the case. Choose colors for your food display that complement the colors of your food items. Don’t choose colors that are the same as the food, as they will inevitably become washed out by the display itself. 

Add Signage or Imagery

After the customer’s attention is grabbed by the colors of your display, they need to immediately identify what the display is selling. This is accomplished by building a sign into the display (or placing one nearby) that clearly identifies the type of food the display is offering. What type of food is it? What are its main selling points? Is it on sale, or for a great price? These are the types of things that will draw customers in. 

Images are also a big selling point. Customers will be drawn to enticing visual displays of the food. If you don’t want to use words on your sign, a simple large image of the products being offered will do the trick. 

Choose the Right Type of Display 

The best type of display for your food is dependent many things. There are many types of display, each with their own styles, sizes, and distinct features. Some important questions to ask yourself are: 

  • What type of food will be displayed? 
  • Where does the display need to be placed? Countertop? Floor display? Endcap? Within a “buffet” line? 
  • Will the display be self-service or full service? This determines if there needs to be one or two access doors. 
  • Will the food be packaged and sealed or opened? If the food is opened or plated, you will need to consider food safe materials for your display. 
  • How much will be displayed? This can affect the display type and size. 
  • How well-lit is the area? If necessary, you can add LED lighting for additional illumination of the food. 


We can help you choose the best display type, size, color, and design for your food. Get in touch with our team for a free material sample or quote.