Bakers Journal

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Natural colours overtake artificial, suggests research


October 7, 2014
By Bakers Journal

Oct. 7, 2014, Chicago – Consumers prefer natural food colours to synthetic or artificial, and the trend will continue, says a new report.

Oct. 7, 2014, Chicago – Consumers prefer natural food colours to
synthetic or artificial, and the trend will continue, says a new report.

The report into the food colours market
from Mintel and Leatherhead Food Research indicates that, for the first
time in 2011, the value of natural colours has overtaken that of
artificial/synthetic colours globally. In 2011, global sales of natural
colours amounted to an estimated $600 million US, up by almost 29 per cent from 2007 and
demonstrating annual growth in excess of seven per cent. The share of the total
food colours market taken by natural varieties has increased from just
over a third (34 per cent) in 2007 to nearly 39 per cent in 2011.

In contrast, growth within the artificial/synthetic colours market
has been more modest, with value sales increasing by less than four per cent
between 2007 and 2011. The segment is now worth an estimated $570 million US,
which is equivalent to 37 per cent of the overall market (compared to 40 per cent in
2007).

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“The results of the Southampton Six study has really accelerated the
move toward natural colours in Europe, but other regions are also
following suit as the consumer demand for more natural formulations
builds and as key producers and retailers look to phase out artificial
ingredients," said Mintel senior global food and drink analyst Chris Brockman in a news release.

Furthermore, according to the research, the use of natural colours in
new launches of food and drinks outweighs the use of
artificial/synthetic colours by 2:1 on a global basis. The report also
highlights significant differences between regions in their migration to
the use of natural colours. Europe has moved strongly towards the use
of more natural colours, and leads the way globally, overall using them
in 85% of new product launches between 2009 and 2011.

The report predicts that the trend toward greater use of natural
colours will continue, especially within premium food and drink segments
and in products positioned for children.

“The drive for natural food formulations will endure in the global food and drink industry as consumers continue to seek simplicity and purity in food and drink
ingredients lists," said Rachel Wilson, principal technical advisor at Leatherhead Food Research. "The use of natural colours in new food and drink
launches will thus continue to outpace artificial colours globally in
the foreseeable future.”