John George, Ingredients Analyst at Euromonitor International See John George Speak at Day 0 ‘Natural Colour and Colouring Foods 2015’ at Fi Europe -http://www.figlobal.com/fieurope/conference/day0
In 2012, the global natural colours market surpassed 600,000 tonnes for the first time as the shift away from synthetic and towards natural continued. While this growth is forecast to continue, aided by increased uptake in developing markets, going forward, it is likely that colouring foodstuffs, an alternative that is receiving increased recognition, will become more prominent. Colouring foodstuffs, which include vegetable extracts and fruit juices, provide consumers with a greater understanding of the source of product colouring, which can, in turn, provide a healthier or more naturalimage. With interest in natural and clean labels showing no signs of abating, the pull of colouringfoodstuffs could become difficult for manufacturers to ignore.
Additives and ingredients
A key advantage for colouring foodstuffs is that they are considered food ingredients rather than food additives. Consequently, colouring foodstuffs, unlike natural colours, do not carry E numbers in Europe. This is significant, as many consumers associate E numbers with unhealthy or harmful products. Additionally, the European Commission sought to further clarify the difference between colouringfoodstuffs and colouring additives, like natural colours, by publishing a set of guidelines, which came into effect in January 2014. These guidelines stated that colouring foodstuffs are ingredients derived from fruits, vegetables or herbs, which retain their nutritive and aromatic properties, rather than resulting in selective extraction of colour.
Suppliers look to capitalise
The current trends towards natural foods and clean labels are particularly favourable to suppliers ofcolouring foodstuffs. Many consumers are looking for shorter labels, with simpler ingredients, which they are familiar with. Colouring foodstuffs are able to provide this, while also providing the colouringproperties that make the product attractive to the consumer in the first place. It is no surprise that several major colour houses have diversified into colouring foodstuffs to cash in on their appeal. For example, in 2014 Chr Hansen announced the upgrade of its Italian centre for colouring foodstuffs, and this is likely to be a precursor to further investment in its FruitMax range.
Drawbacks remain for colouring foodstuffs
For natural colours, the rise of colouring foodstuffs could spell trouble, as the attractiveness of the new option has the potential to cause a decline in natural colour volumes. However, this is unlikely, since, likenatural colours before them, colouring foodstuffs still have to overcome issues relating to stability and consistency in certain applications. Consequently, in certain scenarios, it is simply not possible to use acolouring foodstuff and manufacturers may have to settle for natural colours. Additionally, for many manufacturers, natural colours are likely to remain sufficient for compliance with the natural trend, and with greater technical knowledge being available for natural colours, colouring foodstuffs may be seen as unnecessary.
Potential Volume of Colouring Foodstuffs
Source: Euromonitor International
Colouring foodstuffs will keep growing as the demand for natural ingredients continues to increase. However, it is likely that the growth in colouring foodstuffs will come from products that are health orientated and specifically positioned as clean label, with mainstream products unlikely to see a major adoption of the new colour ingredients. The impact on natural colours is therefore likely to be a reduction in the level of future growth rather than the more alarming outcome of a fall in natural colour volumes due to manufacturers switching to colouring foodstuffs.
John George, Ingredients Analyst at Euromonitor International