Natural food colors are pigments derived from plants, fruits, vegetables, and other natural sources used to color foods and beverages without artificial additives. Examples include:
Carotenoids: Obtained from carrots and sweet potatoes, providing orange hues.
Chlorophyll: Derived from spinach and parsley, giving a green color.
Anthocyanins: Found in berries, grapes, and red cabbage, yielding red and blue shades.
Turmeric: A spice used for its yellow color.
Saffron: Providing a rich orange-yellow tint.
Even before people taste the food, they make their judgments on the taste based on appearance and aroma. Especially when the food is unknown, people are attracted by vibrant colors displayed by the food. Since certain foods are a mixture of different ingredients, it loses its color or may not exhibit attractive colors. As a result, players in the food industry use food colorants to achieve the desired color. As of today, artificial food colorants are more popular in the food & beverage industry. For instance, red lead and vermillion are used to color cheese and confectionery. However, concerns over food safety have led compelled the food authorities to impose numerous regulations throughout the world. Since manufacturers are only allowed to use permitted colors, a majority of them are exploring the use of natural food coloring agents. These natural colorants are derived from a variety of natural sources such as spices, fruits, vegetables, edible yeasts, herbs, barks, buds, roots, leaves, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. The procurement market intelligence report from SpendEdge highlights the fact that there is a high demand for healthier foods and beverages that contain natural ingredients, in developed countries such as the US, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, and Canada.
Trends in the natural food coloring market
Rising popularity of antioxidant-rich colorants
Natural food coloring agents that are rich in anti-antioxidant reduces the need for additional ingredients, which are used to raise the levels of antioxidants. As a result, suppliers prefer natural food colorants such as carotenoids and anthocyanins due to increasing consumer demand. The demand is expected to grow in the coming years attributing to rising consumer awareness especially in developing countries such as India, China, Indonesia, and Brazil.
Demand for brown colorants
The popularity of alternative grains such as quinoa, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, and kaniwa is on the rise due to its multiple health benefit. Consumers in the developed and developing parts of the world are preferring such alternative grains over the stable wheat and corn due to higher protein content, amino acids, and fibers. As a result, buyers are involved in the natural food coloring of such alternative grains to complement the visual appeal. The demand for brown and deep brown food colorants have been on the rise in recent time owing to such change in consumer preference.
Each country and continent have their own unique kind of food and cuisines. The cuisines differ in every aspect from food type, ingredients, spices used to flavoring. Such vast cultural and regional differences have urged the players in the F&B industry to localize their products as per region. The act of localization creates demand for specific natural food coloring agents based on each region. For instance, the use of turmeric as a coloring agent by global F&B manufacturers is increasing in India.
New nutrition facts label in the US
In 2016, the US government and the FDA announced the redesign of the mandated nutritional facts label. The mandate requires F&B players to change some aspect of the layout, font, and size of the label. For instance, the font size of total calorie and sugar content should be increased. The new label will aid consumers in making a more informed food decision. As a result, they are likely to avoid food with high sugar content and caloric intake. This is expected to affect the natural food coloring process using caramel and similar colorants as they increase the overall sugar and calorie content. Many F&B manufacturers in light of such decisions are shifting towards non-sugar based natural food coloring.
Read more about the trends in the natural food coloring market along with procurement challenges, supply chain insights, and pricing models in SpendEdge’s upcoming report on the global natural food colorants market.