- In an online poll commissioned for Lycored, 88% of consumers surveyed said they would pay more for food and beverages made with natural flavors and colors, according to Food Ingredients First.
- When consumers were told a flavored milk beverage cost an average of $1.50, respondents said they would pay up to $2.20 for the product if it contained natural ingredients — a 47% increase.
- The study also found that consumers preferred the look of natural colors over artificial colors. Participants rated a naturally colored strawberry milk drink the best looking.
Food companies and their suppliers continue to find success with natural colors and flavors, riding the wave of consumer preferences for all things natural.
Companies have been working to add more natural colors to their products since a 2007 study linked artificial ones to hyperactivity in children. However, manufacturers have had problems developing natural colors that are stable and economical.
Larger companies have been purchasing or investmenting in smaller ventures to improve their own selection of natural colors and flavors.
Recently, Firmenich entered a joint venture with Essex Laboratories, which produces natural peppermint and spearmint oils and extracts that are used in food and beverages. The partnership will provide Firmenich with more sustainable and cost-effective mint flavors in the future.
In the last few years, Frutarom has been on an acquisition spree, including a $130.4 million purchase of Wiberg GmbH of Austria. The company has also purchased Grow Co., which creates natural ingredients that improve the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Even though manufacturers with well-known brightly colored products have seen success in replacing some of the artificial colors—like General Mills in Trix cereal—it could be helpful to know that the public will pay for some of the needed increased investment.