Return to Blog December 20, 2021

The Recipe for Stunning Food Design

Brightly colored frosting cups with rainbow sprinkles.

On one hand, color is one of the most influential factors that inform consumer purchasing decisions. On the other hand, consumers are growing wary of artificial dyes, their mysterious chemical makeup, and the potential problems they could be causing those who are sensitive to them, especially children.

Consumers are more aware and increasingly wary of the risks associated with artificial food dyes and there is a growing list of banned food dyes to validate those concerns.

The Importance of Color in Food 

We are biologically and socially trained to identify the taste, nutrition and safety of foods based on coloring. In the same way that we know a brown banana may not be safe to eat, consumers also make similar associations based on packaged food products as well.

Consumers receive strong cues on the healthfulness and freshness of a product based on its color. For example, researchers have found that color psychology informs strong associations with products like dairy, almond and soy milk. The color white denotes freshness and purity, but also promotes a calming effect in consumers.

Color can also be used to carry over those associations to strengthen trust in products that may not contain the ingredients they denote. Flavored water has become a trendy, health-focused staple over the past several years. Some of the best-selling products include coloring based on the flavor they’re designed to offer. Strawberry flavored water, a light red color, has no functional need for the coloring, but the association between the color and the flavor is strong enough that it encourages the perceived taste for customers.

Natural Food Coloring Meets Shifting Consumer Demand

Consumers are more concerned with their health and the integrity of their foods than ever. That concern has pushed food suppliers like Tilley to offer organic and natural products. As a result, foods with now-infamous artificial food coloring (think of the red dye 40 headlines) have lost their appeal.

According to Future Market Insights, sales of natural food colors will exceed $14 billion by 2028.

Naturally Sourced Food Coloring Options

Seaweed extracts are a cost-effective and versatile option for many food suppliers looking to replace the artificial food coloring they may have traditionally utilized. Many of the more popular and high-demand food colorings can be achieved by seaweed extracts, including:

  • Chlorophyll – This pigment produces an intensely rich and vibrant green.
  • Carotenoids – These specialized protein pigments can produce yellows, reds and oranges.

These capabilities make seaweed a low-cost and environmentally friendly option for suppliers. Whether the application is focused on enhancing a food’s natural color or shaping it completely (such as in hard candies), seaweeds can play a role in commercial food coloring at scale.

Tilley Distribution and ISI, Your Natural Pick for Food Coloring

Our exceptional quality control, expert technicians and dedicated customer service make Tilley Distribution and ISI your top choice for natural food coloring products. With a robust supply chain to keep you connected, trust our decades of experience to keep your business running smoothly. Talk with a Tilley Distribution representative today.