Natural colour solutions can provide food and beverage manufacturers with a major edge over their competitors. By removing artificial and additive colours, manufacturers can meet the demands of 54% of consumers worldwide who want their food and drinks to be made with natural colour ingredients only. Alongside this, communicating their use clearly on the label is important as 67% of consumers say easy-to-understand ingredient information is essential. Claire Phoenix looks at how companies are tackling the challenges involved..
Credible front-of-pack claims give producers the potential to increase brand preference even when a price increase is applied. This is the result of a global consumer study which has been conducted by market research institute TNS and the GNT Group, the global provider of Colouring Foods. For the survey, 5,000 people from ten countries in Asia, the Americas and Europe were interviewed.
Choosing the right claim
A crucial requirement for the success of a product is the right choice of claim: only those perceived as credible lead to a stronger purchase intention. Here, the effect of different claims that promote the use of all-natural solutions such as Colouring Foods has been examined in more detail: both the claims ‘with natural colours’ and ‘coloured with fruit and vegetables’ are perceived as credible by more than 75%. The claim ‘coloured with fruit and vegetables’ conveys positive product characteristics such as ‘is healthy’, ‘is safe’ or is ‘100% naturally produced’ to more than two thirds of consumers.
Which claim is preferable also depends on the product category. For food and beverages perceived as generally less natural, such as sweets or soft drinks, the claim ‘coloured with fruit and vegetables’ is most suitable to uplift brand preference because it provides a clearly distinguishing message for consumers. In food categories with a more natural image, like yogurt, the claim ‘free from artificial colourants’ is perceived equally well. “It is highly important for food manufacturers to understand the reaction of consumers to labelling, in order to choose the right claim for their products. With our survey, we can provide this information for different countries, consumer groups and product categories,” said GNT group managing director Dr Hendrik Hoeck.