Use of colour is vital in giving fmcgs the visual appeal to attract consumers. Natural colours, specifically, are mainly used in food and beverages, and pet food, with the popularity of these ingredients rising due to concerns surrounding alternatives. This report discusses the trends driving natural colour growth, as well as the growth prospects for natural colours in different regions and key product areas. The importance of synthetic colours in certain regions and categories is also considere
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There is no clear cut definition of a natural colour. Consequently use of the term “natural colour“ is often left to the discretion of manufacturers, leading to inconsistency in its application and confusion for consumers.
The Southampton study was key to increased use of natural colours; however, much of this was confined to Western Europe. More recently, consumer desire for “all natural” products has boosted natural colour growth in other regions.
Natural colours are considered additives by most legislators, rather than ingredients in their own right, like colouring foods. Consequently, colouring foods are more likely to appeal to manufacturers looking to produce a “clean label” product.
Manufacturers have taken steps to safeguard the production of natural colours, and to be in a better position to cope with increased demand. There are also a wider variety of natural colours available.
Several applications are still using synthetic colours, as questions remain over natural colour stability and suitability. Investment is needed to provide cost-effective natural colour solutions for all applications.
Natural colour growth in developed markets has started to stall, as there are few products left to convert. Conversely, strong growth is forecast in developing markets as the natural trend takes hold.
Two of the largest natural colour consumers are carbonates and pet food products. Much of this is based on substantial use of caramel colours. This could be an issue going forward due to controversy surrounding caramel.