- Food and beverage companies are turning away from artificial colors toward using natural colors in their products, which is consistent with demands common to the consumer health trend.
- Companies are beginning to not just want to replace artificial colors with natural colors but to replace them with colors that actually look more natural than Red 40 or Yellow 5.
- One problem is that natural colors aren't as stable as artificial colors, though some natural colors, such as the reddish color from Rubired grapes, are more stable than others. Another issue for companies wanting to switch to natural colors is the cost. Batches of natural coloring aren't as consistent as artificial colors, which means cost can't always be consistent either.
The use of natural colors has become increasingly common since the release of a 2007 study that linked artificial colors to hyperactivity in children.
Several companies have made announcements this year regarding the removal of artificial colors from their products: Kraft from its macaroni and cheese, Nestle from its chocolate candy, General Mills from cereals and fruit snacks, and Kellogg from its cereal and some snack bars and Eggo frozen products.
Natural colors are derived from a number of fruits and vegetables, from beets, carrots, and grapes to cabbage, turmeric, and sweet potatoes.
Despite this great shift, that doesn't mean artificial ingredients will disappear. "Although the demand for natural ingredients will continue to grow, I think there will always be a need for a certain amount of what may be described as synthetic ingredients," Paul Manning, president and CEO ofSensient Technologies, told Food Dive earlier this year.