Create frightening food and bewitching beverages for Halloween with EXBERRY® reds

27 October 2021


Celebrated throughout much of the world on 31st October, Halloween is a time for creepy costumes and feasting on food with family and friends. Traditional treats include everything from candies to pumpkin pies, but there are opportunities to give almost any food and drink product a terrifying twist. Red is a powerful shade that is ideal for creating a sense of excitement in spooky seasonal launches. EXBERRY® Coloring Foods can deliver spectacular plant-based reds for almost any application, enabling brands to launch colorful creations with clean and clear labels for Halloween.

Scary sweet treats

Red has been shown to enhance perceptions of sweetness1 so it’s little wonder it’s used so widely during Halloween. EXBERRY® reds are ideal for delivering extra vibrancy to the traditional red candy apples as well as confectionery such as bloodied vampire fangs and red devil gummies. Coloring Foods can also be used to create blood-red liquid centers in candy brains or even ‘blood-filled’ test tubes or ‘blood bags.’

Coloring Foods can deliver deep red hues to cake mixes too, making it a perfect choice for ‘dead velvet’ products – the Halloween-themed twist on the red velvet trend. In recent years, red velvet cakes and cupcakes have become increasingly popular and it’s also becoming a staple at Halloween – Google searches for ‘red velvet Halloween’ were 64% higher in 2020 than the same period the previous year.2 ‘Dead velvet’ products are often decorated with bats and spiders while some feature blood-red fruity syrups on top of white icing.

Halloween slash cakes are also an ideal choice for the Instagram generation. Featuring slashes that ooze vibrant red ‘blood’, these cakes are a ‘cut’ above the competition.

Creepy but cute

While Halloween is typically focused on the fear factor, it’s also important to cater to young children. Child-friendly cakes, cake-pops and candy are now available that provide a sense of escapism and fun, with the use of playful cartoon characters such as bright red monsters. There are opportunities for monster claw-shaped red potato chips, for example, while red licorice can be used to create ‘monster hair’ or vibrant jelly-like ‘monster brains.’

Halloween is known as a time for indulgence, but today’s parents still want to provide their kids with healthier options – and artificial and chemical-sounding colorants can provide cause for concern. Because EXBERRY® Coloring Foods are made from ingredients such as carrots, sweet potatoes and blackberries, they provide instant reassurance when parents turn to the label.

Bloodcurdling beverages

For Millennials and Gen Z consumers, elaborate parties with sophisticated drinks are in order. These consumers look to buy an experience for the occasion and creative make-your-own cocktail kits are delivering just this. Innovative ‘poisoned apple’ and gory-looking red cocktails and mocktails offer a sense of excitement – and provide perfect picture opportunities for social media.

Millennials and Gen Zs are also considerably more health-conscious than older generations so low and no alcohol options are in demand, while these consumers are also particularly interested in organic products and natural ingredients.3

EXBERRY® Coloring Foods are naturally free from any artificial ingredients and do not contain functional additives, while the EXBERRY® Organics range can be used to create spectacular red beverages while supporting organic claims.

Hellish heat

The trend for red-hot chili peppers and fiery spice has now hit Halloween. For example, pizzas with ghost chilies are being launched around the event – and consumers can even buy special Russian roulette options that feature a single slice with intense heat levels. Bold red curries featuring frightfully hot chilies such as the Carolina Reaper are also now proving popular with today’s fearless shoppers.

EXBERRY® Coloring Foods can bring extra vibrancy to spicy pizza sauces, curries and traditional hot sauces. Research shows that seven in ten consumers believe a red sauce to be spiciest when presented with red, yellow, green, and orange varieties4 – and darker reds are seen as particularly spicy.5

Discover devilish reds with EXBERRY®

Red is a spellbinding shade that can deliver the drama to your Halloween-themed food and drink. EXBERRY® Coloring Foods can bring your bone-chilling creations to life with powerful red shades while still maintaining clean-label declarations.

EXBERRY® reds are made from non-GMO fruit, vegetables and plants using physical methods such as chopping, heating and boiling. As a result, they can be described on the ingredient list in a way that is easy for consumers to understand, such as “Coloring Food (concentrate of carrot and blackcurrant)” or “concentrates (carrot and blackcurrant).”

EXBERRY® colors can achieve exceptional results in almost any food and drink application and, with more than four decades of experience using plant-based colors, GNT’s experts are on hand to ensure you get all the support you need.

From ghoulish grub to monstrous mocktails, EXBERRY® reds can deliver spine-tingling shades to your Halloween products. Get in touch with GNT and discover the power of Love Color Red.


1 Spence, C. et al. ‘On tasty colours and colourful tastes? Assessing, explaining, and utilizing crossmodal correspondences between colours and basic tastes’ Flavour (July 2015) 2 Google Trends 3 Packaged Facts ‘Gen Z and Millennial Consumers Naturally Favor Organic Foods and Beverages, reports Packaged Facts’ (2020) 4 Kalsec ‘Spicy Perceptions’ (2019) 5 Shermer, D.Z. & Levitan, C.A. ‘Red Hot: The Crossmodal Effect of Color Intensity on Perceived Piquancy’ Multisensory Research (2014)