The Natural Color Trend in Food & Beverage

Consumers’ focus on health and wellness along with their desire for transparency, combined with the influence of social media is driving brands to focus on natural colors. Innova Market Insights data shows an overall growth of new product launches with natural colors in the U.S. from 2016 to 2019. Whether it’s blazing red, rich brown, earthy green, or any other color on the spectrum, the color of a food or beverage drives consumer excitement and purchase intent.

The Color Purple

According to Mintel, there has been an increase of 126% of the color purple in food and beverage launches from 2012 to 2018. Manufacturing companies are incorporating ube, grapes, purple cauliflower, and elderberries to create the color through natural ingredients. Purple adds vibrancy and novelty to food and beverages, while also providing health benefits through anthocyanins known for their antioxidant effects.

Trendsetters: Trader Joes Ube Ice Cream, Cybeles Superbfood Pasta, Beviva Foods Purpo All in One Cereal

Orange is the New Black

While previously natural colors were limited and the hues were muted, recently there have been new developments creating colors that are more durable in various types of processing. Consumers have come to associate shades of yellow and orange with savory flavors and brighter varieties with citrus flavors. Many food brands now naturally source their yellow and orange tones from turmeric, carrots, and pumpkin.

Trendsetters: Maria and Ricardo’s Sweet Potato Tortillas, Lantana Foods Sriracha Carrot Hummus, Ripple Foods Turmeric Milk

Into the Blue

This year’s Pantone Color of the Year is Classic Blue. As a result, expect to see an abundance of natural blue coloring made from spirulina, a blue-green algae. According to Innova Market Insights, this source of blue color has increased in popularity among food manufacturers, with a 24% average annual growth of new food and beverage launches globally tracked with “spirulina concentrate.”

Trendsetters: Confection Collection Chocolate Covered Blue Pretzels, Light and Fit Blueberry Acai Yogurt, Innocent Drinks Blue Juice

Flavorchem specializes in the creation and manufacturing of natural flavor and color solutions. Let us know how we can help you customize a featured product flavor in your application! Contact us today.