Tasting the Rainbow in New Product Development
Skittles manufacturer Mars Inc. may have been ahead of its time when it started using the tag line “taste the rainbow.” Social media and the success of such phenomena as Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino are showing product developers the power of colors on consumer perception and interest in new food and beverage products.
There is, however, a catch, said Jennifer Zegler, global food and drink analyst with the market research firm Mintel International–the ingredients used to make the colors must be sourced from raw materials perceived as clean and simple.
“We see more opportunity for plant-based ingredients beyond flavor,” Ms. Zegler said. “There is an opportunity to engage the consumer’s senses and make things more physically engaging.”
One company embracing the trend is Plum Organics, a business unit of the Campbell Soup Co., which is marketing a line of children’s products branded as Eat Your Colors pouches. Ms. Zegler said the Plum Organics line is an example of a company using color-coded recipes to help get fruits and vegetables into the diets of children.
As the trend toward color evolves, Ms. Zegler noted food and beverage product developers are experimenting with various colors from fruits and vegetables.