Stable Christmas Red and Green for Seasonal LTOs

The Role of Color in Seasonal Launches

The top three markets for Christmas or winter seasonal innovation in food and beverage the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, which combine for over 30% of new launches (Mintel 2022). Of these seasonal LTOs, over 40% are private label in the United States, up from just one in three two years ago (Mintel 2024).

Seasonal products typically rely on generating excitement and instant gratification from consumers rather than year-round product or brand loyalty. Color can help.

Color helps a product catch shoppers’ eyes and stand out on a shelf. Consumers are looking for a visual or flavor cue that an item is seasonal or holiday themed. At the end of the year, this often brings a focus to Christmas colors: red and green.


How to Use Color in Seasonal Launches

Christmas colors like red and green are important hallmarks of seasonal launches during the holidays. As with any product development project, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure color success, particularly with bold shades like these.

Check out our recommendations to achieve bright reds and greens for holiday LTOs in different applications:

Tortilla Chips

Think About:

Bake/Heat Stability, Light Stability


Heat stability through the bake or frying process is critical in tortilla chips, so SupraRed™ is a fantastic choice.


A blend of Butterfly Pea Flower Extract and a natural yellow such as Beta Carotene or Turmeric will be both heat and light stable, perfect for tortilla chips.

Loaf Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies

Think About:

Heat Stability, Permissibility, pH, Kosher Status


Because other blue solutions like Huito and Spirulina are not permitted in baking applications, a blend of Butterfly Pea Flower Extract and a natural yellow such as Beta Carotene or Turmeric.


SupraRed™ is great heat-stable red, but may degrade like all beet products if the pH approaches or exceeds 7. Carmine is highly stable but may not satisfy Kosher claims.

Boxed Cookie or Cake Mix

Think About:

Heat Stability, Coloring the Powder Before Hydration, Permissibility, pH, Kosher Status


A blend of SupraRed™ and Beet Microfine™ colors both the powder and the finished baked good while maintaining a clean “beet juice” label and Kosher status.


A blend of Butterfly Pea Flower Extract and a natural yellow such as Beta Carotene or Turmeric meets both regulatory and stability requirements for boxed baking mixes.

Icings, Frostings, Cremes, and Fillings

Think About:

Light Stability, Avoiding Color Bleed, Phase Applicability


A blend of Spirulina Microfine™ and a natural yellow such as Riboflavin Microfine™ creates a light-stable green. If light exposure is not a concern, Turmeric Microfine™ can also be used in the blend for a bold green.


Using Blazing Red Microfine™ in icings and similar applications with water activity helps avoid color bleed while maintaining light stability.

Coatings, Morsels, and White Chocolate

Think About:

Oil Applicability, Light Stability, pH Stability


Blazing Red Microfine™ addresses the challenge of a bold red with the needed oil applicability in applications like coatings and morsels without water activity. Standard Red Radish may also be used if the pH is not shifted too low due to the addition of an acidic flavor component.


Blending Spirulina Microfine™ and a natural yellow such as Riboflavin Microfine™ or Turmeric Microfine™ meets the phase applicability requirements for oil-based applications.


Think About:

Extrusion/Heat Stability, Color Strength


A blend of Butterfly Pea Flower Extract and Turmeric will create a bright green that maintains stability through the high heat of extrusion.


The high color concentration and stability of SupraRed™ makes it ideal for red in extruded cereal.

Dry Pasta

Think About:

Extrusion Stability, Light Stability


SupraRed™ is a great choice for red in dry pasta applications thanks to its extrusion and light stability.


For bright greens stable under light exposure and through the harsh heat of extrusion, look to a blend of Butterfly Pea Flower Extract and Beta Carotene.

Gummies and Gum Drops

Think About:

pH, Water Activity, High Heat and Holding Time, Base Color


If using powder colors, it’s important to have enough water in the formula to fully solubilize the color. In higher water applications, Butterfly Pea Flower Extract or Marine Blue™ can be blended with Beta Carotene or Turmeric for bright greens.


In potentially acidic environments with high water activity, anthocyanins like Black Carrot, Red Radish, and Red Cabbage create great reds. If water activity is low and the pH is higher, in the 4.0-6.8 range, Beet is a good choice, but if high heat and/or a long holding time under heat are part of the process, Carmine is the best choice.

Panned Confections

Think About:

pH of Coating Syrup, Temperature of Coating Syrup, Holding Time of Coating Syrup, Heat Stability, Viscosity of Coating Syrup


If the production process allows for controlled panning to limit heat exposure, all Anthocyanins can be used for reds in conjunction with a yellow component like Beta Carotene or Turmeric. If the temperature or holding time is too high, Pure-S™ Red Radish and Carmine are excellent choices.


Panned confections can use Spirulina or Butterfly Pea Flower Extract blended with Turmeric or Beta Carotene for bright, stable greens without impacting the viscosity of the coating syrup.

Hard Candy including Candy Canes

Think About:

Light Stability, High Heat, pH Stability


Thanks to the similarities between hard and gummy confections, many of the same green solutions can be used. However it’s important to add the Spirulina component at the last possible step to avoid degradation.


These applications are very similar to the gummy applications above, but if the color is going to be added pre-cook, a heat-stable red solution such as UberBeet™ or SupraRed™ will be needed.


Think About:

Light Stability, Neutral pH, High Heat


Beet and Carmine are both strong red solutions in neutral pH applications like marshmallows.


Blends of natural blues and yellows, such as Butterfly Pea Flower Extract and Beta Carotene or Spirulina and Turmeric, produce bright, festive green marshmallows.

Caramels and Nougats

Think About:

Light Stability, Neutral pH, High Heat


A blend of Butterfly Pea Flower Extract and Beta Carotene or Spirulina and Turmeric will create seasonal greens, and the choice between them will vary depending on the processing restrictions.


Processing and stability requirements for caramels and nougats can range widely, but because they are typically in a neutral pH range, Carmine and Beet are good red choices.

These solutions can also be used for seasonal shades around other holidays as well: greens are sought out for St. Patrick’s Day, while reds come up throughout the year: Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, and even Thanksgiving. If you need color for a seasonal LTO, let us know! We’re here to help.

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