Bright colours such as yellow and orange are “colours of the moment” as “consumers gravitate towards colours associated with freshness and positivism”, Victor Foo, general manager of GNT Singapore told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Yellow is very much the colour of the moment and could be embraced by Generation Z in the same way pink has been by the millennials.”
The firm is thus tapping on the trend for its collection of colouring foodstuffs products – EXBERRY® Sunshine Shades. The colours, ranging from bright sunbeam yellow to warm harvest orange, are derived from natural sources such as pumpkin, carrots, and turmeric.
“In terms of specific color trends, an important theme for 2019 is ‘I Feel Good’ – (which emphasises) the ways our food and drink choices influence our mood,” Foo added.
In a similar vein, Pantone has also identified living coral as the colour of year, since it “emits the desired, familiar, and energising aspects of colour found in nature.”
According to Foo, food colourings which were perceived as natural are now rejected by consumers, leading to the need for new innovations.
He gave the examples of copper complexes of chlorophylls (E141) and carmine, which were once viewed as natural since they were derived from natural sources.
“Although these are technically from natural sources, their extraction process involves extensive use of chemicals, which is no longer accepted by consumers.
“The high level of demand for natural and clean label products has created a need for manufacturers to move away from additives which might once have been viewed as natural,” Foo said.
According to research conducted by GNT in 2017, it was also found that three in four global consumers were convinced that preservatives, artificial flavors, and sweeteners have no place on ingredients lists.
Foo said that colouring foods, which were made from high-quality fruits, vegetables and plants using gentle physical processes, such as chopping, boiling, and filtering, could meet both natural and clean label requirements.
“They are halal, kosher and vegan, and can be used all over the world. High acceptance levels for natural ingredients make them a marketer’s dream.”
At present, some of the common applications for colouring foods in Asia are beverages, ice cream, and confectionery.
“Think of fruit juices, sports drinks and beauty drinks. Confectionery manufacturers are also turning increasingly to colouring foods, to strive for clean label gummy and hard-boiled confectionery.”
Regulations paving the way
Stricter regulations were also paving the way for the use of colouring foods, Foo said.
He identified China, Thailand, and Indonesia as some of the APAC countries which have introduced strict restrictions on the amounts and types of artificial colour that could be used in food and beverages.
These countries also have regulations enforcing ingredient transparency on product packaging and ingredient lists.
For example, all e-numbers used in food products in Thailand, should be stated on the ingredient list.