Natural Food Colors for Fortified Beverages

Beverage consumers continue to express strong interest in fortified products that not only quench their thirst but also their wellness values. Attributes like added vitamins, zero sugar, and/or antioxidant infused is luring consumers to this growing market of functional and better-for-you beverages.


The Energy Drink subcategory has increased +21% in dollar sales vs. prior year
(IRI 2021)
of consumers are interested in ingredients that claim to boost immunity
(Mintel 2021)
of US adults would like their food/drink to contribute to both their mental and physical health
(Mintel 2021)

At Sensient, we are closely watching this trend towards functional because color plays such a critical role in taste perception and function cue. Our beverage color application technologists are always innovating in the space of beverage colors.

Discover some of their color formulation tips for various fortified beverages below:

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Brands are increasingly incorporating functional ingredients like Zinc, Vitamin C, Turmeric, and Elderberry Juice. They are also leaning on citrus and super berry flavors as well as using shades commonly associated with superfoods such as ginger, spinach, and acai.

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For uplifting beverages, developers can leverage happy hues like yellows, oranges, and pinks to signal joy to shoppers. The market is also seeing an increase in ingredients like GABA, l-theanine, lemon balm, and tea extracts for mood-boosting properties.

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Hydration + Sport

In the hydration and sport drink space, more and more brands are looking to claim reduced sugar or zero sugar formulations. To meet rising consumer demands for holistic wellness, added vitamins and all-natural flavors and colors are seeing continued popularity.

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As the energy drink segment surges, cleaner energy sources like tea and guarana extracts are gaining popularity. Formulators can add excitement with tropical and playful flavors, bold vibrant colors from natural sources, and juice infusions.

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For health-conscious consumers, brands are adding superfruit juices like tart cherry, pomegranate, or elderberry, with deep rich red and purple shades reflective of high anthocyanin fruits and added vitamins.

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Not sure which shade is right for your project? Ask the experts! From shade matching to solution recommendations and troubleshooting guidance, Sensient’s team is always happy to help.

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