- Bright yellow to deep orange colors are projected to influence foods and beverages this year as Generation Z consumers and others look for items conveying optimistic feelings, according to ingredients company GNT Group.
- "In 2019 consumers will prefer food and drink that can arouse a sense of freshness and light, qualities that yellow and orange shades deliver. Just as pink was embraced by Millennials, Generation Z will channel the positivity of sunshine shades to sprinkle cheerfulness into their lives," Maartje Hendrickx, GNT's market development manager, told Ingredients Network.
- Brands' marketing messages are trying to use color and other messages to appeal to consumers by indicating their products can make them happy. Innova Market Insights said these "feel good" label claims jumped 36% between 2016 and 2017, Ingredients Network noted.
Color is a key factor in attracting consumers to certain foods and beverages, so it's not surprising that optimism, positivity and bright colors are expected to appeal to Gen Z and other demographic groups this year. The "sunshine spectrum" from bright yellow to deep orange lends itself to citrus flavors and could become the younger generation's preferred shades as it previously has been for "millennial pink."
Besides the visual appeal, colors also tease anticipated flavors to consumers. Research has found 90% of shoppers make up their minds about buying a product from its color and perceived taste. If the color is appealing, they're more likely to buy it — so there could be more citrus-flavored foods this year.
When it comes to citrus colors, they also tend to convey more upbeat and positive emotions, GNT said, and may even encourage feelings of happiness and joy. Such aspects are hard to beat, so it's likely that more manufacturers will adapt those color elements for their products in order to tap into the trend. While this optimistic viewpoint may not carry over to other realms of life, a positive and cheerful attitude might help to bolster the food and beverage industry.
Warm and sunshiny colors also stimulate appetite, since they're associated with indulgent comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese and buttered popcorn. And they may hint at citrus flavors in beverages, candy, ice cream and yogurt — further bolstering their appeal.
Colorful foods are particularly popular with Gen Z and millennials since they tend to use Instagram, Pinterest and other social media platforms to show off the latest tasty treats. Colorful and delicious-looking food is more likely to be photographed and shared with friends and family on social media, which is another plus for brands looking for an edge over the competition.
Now that consumers are increasingly rejecting artificial colors, some manufacturers have turned the trend to their advantage. In 2015, Kraft Heinz successfully switched out the Yellow 5 and 6 in its Kraft Macaroni & Cheese powder for a naturally sourced combination of paprika, annatto extract and turmeric, and other food makers have followed suit.
While those natural sources are the go-to combinations, other natural yellow and orange color sources are carrot, pumpkin, African sorghum and starfruit — ingredients and flavors that could be popping up across food and beverage products this year.