A “Magically Delicious”
Use of Color

May 2017

While the dominant trend in the color industry over the past couple of years has been the transition away from synthetic colors to those from natural sources, it isn’t the only development in the current food and beverage color landscape.

Lately, innovations have taken a turn for the fanciful, including colorful concoctions such as “Unicorn” lattes and “Rainbow” bagels. This new trend has even started to break out of niche spaces like corner bakeries and coffee shops and into mainstream packaged food products. A perfect example is the new General Mills’ cereal promotion announced in May. It gives a whole new meaning to the famous slogan “They’re Always After Me Lucky Charms.” The cereal mogul is giving away 10,000 boxes of Lucky Charms filled only with their whimsical, brightly colored marbits, better known as “charms.”

Lucky Charms Cereal Box

According to General Mills, Lucky Charms fans are “obsessed with our marshmallows”. What an interesting comment about consumer attitudes. However, those of us in the color industry are not at all surprised by this insight.

“People may describe their love of a food or beverage in terms of ‘taste’, but our research indicates color is at least as important as the flavor in determining overall consumer liking.”

A key driver behind the explosion of colorful editions is the growing use of imagery in social media. Food products that are “instagrammable” continue to grow in appeal. Not only do multicolored products reign in amusement and positivity, but they also provide a great social return of “shares” and “likes.” So from my perspective, love for the Lucky Charms marbits is the perfect example of how color can create preference, and General Mills is right to leverage their beloved charms with such a unique promotion.

Instagram-1

Instagram-2

Instagram-3

While rainbow-colored products are growing in popularity, increasingly, consumers are looking to see if these vibrant, magical creations are colored from plant sources. We have been researching the value of color in food and drinks and will have some exciting new data to share very soon!

In the meantime, check out Karen Brimmer’s blog for more information about innovating with marshmallows and marbits.

Related Posts

Skittles Internet Debate: Do All Colors Taste the Same?

Is Glow-in-the-Dark the Next Food Trend? Meet the GLO-NUT

Mothers Know Best: How Moms are Influencing the Food and Beverage Industry

How Big Food is Taking on a World of Picky Eaters

Kraft Heinz Doubles Oscar Mayer’s Marketing Budget to Promote Natural Ingredients

The Magically Colorful Unicorn Trend

A Colorful Twist on a Sweet & Salty Snack

Food Color Effect on Older Consumers

Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Removing Artificial Colors by End of 2018

Food Color is as Important as Taste

Myth or Fact? Artificially-Colored Foods Are Bad for You

Further Concerns Over the Safety of Titanium Dioxide

Panera is 100% Additive-Free

Formulators Taking Solution-Approach to Natural

Consumers Emphasizing Ingredients on Food Labels

#TBT A Look Back at the Co-Creation of the Food Coloring Business

8 Foods You Would Never Guess Were Artificially Colored

Color of Food Guides our Brains

Naturally Coloring the Beverage Industry

Are Autumn Leaves the Next Source of Natural Color?

Food Colors Market to Reach $3.75 Billion by 2022

Spirulina Algae: Next Natural Food Trend

Why Foods That Are Blue Are Perceived As Less Natural

Big Brands Clean Up Portfolios for Consumers

Natural Colors Linked to Positive Health Effects

Many Food Companies are Cooking Up New Natural Recipes

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Continues Research on the Safety of Titanium Dioxide

A Deep Look into Spirulina: an Emerging and Popular Natural Color Source

Does Mac&Cheese Lead the ‘Free-From’ Trend?

Why Wegmans Removed Artificial Colors in their Icings

Food Companies Are Not Phasing Out Artificial Colors Fast Enough for Some

Heinz Removing Artificial Colors from Pickles

Kraft Launching Jell-O Line Without Artificial Colors

McDonald’s Removing Artificial Colors from Iconic Chicken Nuggets

Natural Colors ‘Upsurge’ in 2016 Market Share

Consumers Are Influenced by the Color of their Food