Five creative ice cream trends with coloring foods (2020)

and how color can help

29 May 2020

Setting and meeting the latest trends is vital for ice cream manufacturers. Trends come and go, so identifying those that are here for the long term is key to success. While much of the focus is on flavor, color has an overwhelming impact on product appeal. It communicates quality, taste, brand value and freshness, with 85% of consumers saying it is their top reason for selecting a product from the shelf.1 Color also changes the way consumers enjoy the product, influencing perceptions of sweetness and flavor intensity. The type of coloring is vital, too. Clean and clear labels are key to ensuring widespread consumer acceptability, and Coloring Foods – made from fruits, vegetables and edible plants – offer the perfect solution. With EXBERRY® by GNT, our experts have extensive experience in creating stunning color concepts for the ice cream industry. We’ve highlighted five trends that look set to go the distance – and how Coloring Foods can help.

Plant power

Plant-based diets have gone mainstream. Whether motivated by health, sustainability or ethics, the number of consumers following vegan diets or cutting down on animal products is on the rise worldwide.2 To meet demand, there are now vegan-friendly ice creams made from ingredients such as almonds, soya, cashews and oats. Coloring Foods can deliver stunning colors to plant-based ice creams, ensuring they have a fresh and appealing appearance without compromising on the ingredient list.

Instagrammable ice cream

A recent study found that 46% of Americans between the ages of 26 and 35 take pictures of their food and share them online at least once a week.3 With the Instagrammability factor more important than ever, it’s little surprise that ice cream products are making more use of eye-catching shades such as ‘galaxy colors’.4 Coloring Foods cover the whole rainbow, providing endless coloring opportunities while supporting clean and clear labeling.

Healthy choices

Low calorie and functional ice creams are increasingly popular, offering consumers a healthier way to enjoy their favorite treats.5 Color is crucial in ensuring these indulgent products look suitably appetizing – but it’s also important to maintain a clean label to appeal to health-conscious shoppers. Coloring Foods are made from recognizable and reassuring raw materials, helping manufacturers offer ingredient lists that are easy to understand and ensure widespread consumer acceptability.

Vegging out

The trend for using vegetables as the star ingredient in treats such as ice cream is now well established.6 Manufacturers are developing ice creams based on ‘superfoods’ including beetroot, avocado and spinach as adventurous consumers seek out new food experiences. Coloring Foods are the perfect pairing for these bold flavors, boosting their visual impact alongside their ‘better-for-you’ credentials.

Tea time

Matcha ice cream has long been a popular option in East Asia, and tea-based flavors are now seeing growing global demand. Earl Grey ice cream is a favorite in Australia, while other teas from across the world are also proving popular, including South East Asian ‘pulled’ tea, milk tea and jasmine.7 Coloring Foods can provide these products with stunning color solutions, from vivid greens in classic matcha ice creams to understated pastel tones for flavors such as Earl Grey.


1 Color Marketing Group ‘The Profit of Color’ 2 Ipsos MORI ‘An exploration into diets around the world’ (August 2018) 3 Innova Market Insights consumer survey 2018 4 Innova Market Insights, ‘Dairy-based ice cream and frozen yogurt’ (December 2019) 5 Mintel, The Future Of Ice Cream: 2020 (January 2020) 6 Foodwatching ‘Ice cream trends’ (July 2019) 7 Foodwatching ‘Aussie ice cream trends’ (March 2020)