Natural Color for Seasonal Bakery Icings & Coatings

Attract Eyes & Customers with Seasonal LTOs

Consumers are always looking for new and exciting, never-before-seen products to try. In times of economic hardship, small indulgences via limited edition or seasonal flavors of shopping basket staples are popular.

NPD growth for seasonal and limited edition items outpaces total new food

Innova 2022

Brands can capitalize on this interest in seasonal LTOs with bright, eye-catching colors tied to bold, unusual or seasonally appropriate taste profiles. From upgraded twists on the classic fall pumpkin to bright spring florals, there are endless opportunities to build delicious LTOs to delight shoppers.
Let’s look at some color solutions to bring these launches to life in icings, frostings, and dessert coatings:

Zesty Summer Citrus

A zesty Summer Citrus iced donut would be a perfect pair with a refresher at QSRs, and bright oranges and yellows can be achieved with naturally oil-soluble color solutions annatto or paprika as well as with Microfine™ solutions from beta carotene.

Orange and lemon flavors are up in limited editions +67% and +50% respectively!

Innova 2022

Hazelnut, Cinnamon, and Gingerbread

Elevate with indulgent flavors like Brown Sugar or Coffee. Caramel-free natural brown MicrofineTM solutions are perfect to help you achieve the savory brown shades that are trending right now.

Hazelnut, Cinnamon, and Gingerbread are three of the top 10 flavors for Christmas launches.

Innova 2022


A leading emerging niche in limited edition launches is Guava, which grew more than 3X as fast in seasonal LTOs than in general food and beverage NPD in 2022 (Innova). For a summery red-orange hue, developers can leverage blends with natural red and oranges as well as custom MicrofineTM shade solutions.

Guava grew more than 3X as fast in seasonal LTOs than in general food and beverage NPD in 2022.

Innova 2022

Pumpkin With a Twist

Pumpkin (with or without spice) is a classic orange flavor for seasonal launches as well, and to achieve the darker shade associated with this autumnal profile compared to a brighter citrus hue, beta carotene or annatto can be used at higher usage rates. For an even browner hue to emphasize a Nutmeg or Maple element, add caramel-free SiennaTM fruit juice or a brown MicrofineTM blend.

Red Fruits

Fruit flavors are increasingly popular throughout the year. Red fruits like Strawberry, Red Raspberry or Cherry top the list for Valentine’s and other limited-edition launches. Achieve bold, natural red hues to replace Red 40 with carmine, SupraRedTM beet juice, or Red Microfine™.

Bright White

Bright whites can connect with well-known themes like summery Coconut or Marshmallow, one of Innova’s top ten leading flavors for both Halloween and Easter in 2021. Titanium dioxide, which is still permitted in North America, is the industry standard, but for brands looking to replace this ingredient while maintaining the clean, bright white appearance of an icing or coating…

Click here to learn more about Sensient’s portfolio of Avalanche™ solutions

Pink Floral Flavors

Enhance spring or Easter launches with trending pink floral flavors like Hibiscus or Rose, both of which are seeing huge seasonal launch growth year-over-year according to 2022 Innova data. Beautiful pink hues can come from beet juice, Berry MicrofineTM, or carmine.

Purple & Blue Hues

For purple and blue hues to connect with flavors like Lavender, butterfly pea flower extract, spirulina, and purple Microfine™ blends offer developers arange from soothing pastels to deep royal shades.

all natural deep green food color solutions

Deep Green Shades

Deep green shades are also possible with blends using cost-effective spirulina and other natural color solutions. Lower usage rates also enable fresh minty hues. These would be perfect for Christmas Evergreen, Shamrock, or even that summer Watermelon!

Partner with Sensient for Smooth, Speedy Development

If you’re interested in coloring more than just the icing or coating, check out this blog on heat-stable natural colors for pastries, cakes, and cookies. The rainbow is just as wide, but different solutions will offer the best performance when heat processing comes into play!

partner with Sensient food colors

The Sensient team is excited to collaborate with manufacturers, developers, and brands to identify and capture seasonal launch opportunities with deliciously bold colors.

To get started with a sample from our natural rainbow, submit a request. If you still have questions about a shade or solution, reach out so a technical color expert can help you find an answer quickly!

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