When it comes to food and beverage products, appearance matters. Because a product's visual appeal can play a significant role in its success on the market, food and beverage designers often use color additives to give bland-looking foods a colorful kick. However, a recent push from consumers for more natural products has developers looking for cost-effective, high-stability, natural colors, then figuring out how to use them.
In "Survival Guide: Colors," a free Digital Issue from Food Product Design, industry experts discuss reasons for the recent natural color demands from consumers, how to classify and appropriately label color ingredients, and the best applications for natural colors. Plus, the issue of price always comes into play with natural products, so experts also suggest ways to offer the most cost-effective solutions for consumers.
The latest media stories have raised consumer awareness of food and beverage ingredients, which has also increased demand for color ingredients that can be recognized and trusted. While fruit and vegetable colorants seem perfectly fine and familiar, they aren't necessarily "natural," according to federal regulations. Accurate labeling is crucial, and in most cases, the label must also acknowledge the ingredient is there for the purpose of adding color.
Regarding applications, there's still no one-size-fits-all solution for every natural coloring need. A product's success depends on various factors, such as ingredients, processing, storage, packaging and stability of the colors.
While formulating with natural colors cost-effectively also remains a work in progress, industry experts express confidence in the fact that improvements are underway. Many food manufacturers still turn to artificial colors for their ease of use and lower costs, but natural color options will likely increase as suppliers seek out alternative sources of pigments.
This Survival Guide can help food product designers, marketers and C-level executives make informed decisions on the colors they use for their products, whether incorporating natural or synthetic ingredients. In addition, the Buyer's GuideColors contains an extensive list of color suppliers, complete with company descriptions and contact information.