Cost-Effective Natural Colors Enhance Staple Ice Cream Flavors

Deliciously Indulgent Ice Cream Starts With A Mouthwatering Visual

Pursuing daily decadence through incremental upgrades to everyday purchases is a common theme in the market today. Mintel data shows that flavor is by far the most important factor in consumer purchasing decisions in the ice cream category, and brands can leverage consumer research on color to highlight and intensify flavor profiles.


Consumer research shows clearly that color has a significant impact on flavor perception.

Optimized color matching a product’s flavor profile improves flavor perception +15% in food and beverages. (Sensient Consumer Research 2019) Since taste is the #1 priority of shoppers purchasing ice cream, choosing the right color to optimize flavor emphasis can have a much-needed impact on the bottom line.

Choosing the right color for your ice cream base improves consumer liking, flavor perception, and ultimately purchase intent.

Creating Naturally Vibrant Ice Cream Shades

Above all, food safety is our top priority here at Sensient. All of our botanical sources and vendors are carefully and individually inspected through our CertasureTM program to ensure that your products are never put at risk by our ingredients. We hold all of our natural colors to the highest global food safety standards on the market, so you can be confident that your colors are safe as they are vibrant!



Natural pink colors like beet are perfect for strawberry ice cream and other red and pink flavors like raspberry or red velvet. Carmine can also be used as an extremely stable solution for similarly bright reds and pinks in ice cream, which is particularly common in markets like Latin America. Sensients’s vertical integration of both beet and carmine creates global supply chain security of these in-demand botanical sources and enables potential cost savings for our customers.

Sample Natural Pink for Ice Cream


Indulgent flavors like chocolate and coffee are trending, and often these rich flavors connect with brown shades. For lighter browns, Sensient’s highly stable SiennaTM fruit juice is a caramel-free solution without any of the troubling chemicals associated with caramel and California’s Prop 65. Darker browns, even black, can be achieved with clean-label blends of SiennaTM and other ingredients in Sensient’s deep natural portfolio for the darkest chocolatey shades.

Sample Natural Brown for Ice Cream


Natural green

While spirulina can be used as a standalone solution to create bright blues for flavors like blue moon, mermaid, or Superman, blending spirulina with natural yellow options like turmeric, annatto, or beta carotene creates a wide range of natural green for ice cream. From mint to pistachio to key lime, green adds key shades to the ice cream lineup. Seasonal shades like St. Patrick’s Day shamrock or Halloween Frankenstein also need green.

Sample Natural Green for Ice Cream

NATURAL blue and purple

Blending spirulina with natural red hues instead gives vibrant purple shades perfect for a seasonal witch’s potion or a unique trending flavor like lavender. Recent supply chain efficiencies and technology advancements have enabled Sensient’s spirulina dispersions to be more cost-effective than ever. Elevated stability and improved production performance make our spirulina an easy choice for ice cream developers.

Sample Natural Blue & Purple for Ice Cream


Natural Vanilla

Even seemingly straightforward flavors like vanilla benefit from a subtle color boost. The addition of annatto gives a hint of yellow to a basic white base for a richer, creamier appearance characteristic of high-end vanilla ice cream. Vertically integrated to the farm level, Sensient’s annatto is part of a robust, secure global supply chain.

Sample Natural Vanilla for Ice Cream

NATURAL yellow and orange

At higher usage rates, annatto can be used for brighter shades like orange sherbet or yellow mango. Sensient’s broad natural color portfolio also includes sources like beta carotene and turmeric, which enables developers to target highly specific hues for maximum flavor representation.

Sample Natural Yellow & Orange for Ice Cream


Whatever flavor you’re creating next, we’re here to help you unleash nature’s rainbow for delectably vibrant ice cream. For troubleshooting assistance or color recommendations, reach out to our team for a free consultation. To get started quickly, request a sample to add to your library.

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