Color trends

Five attractive confectionery trends

and how color can help

24 August 2020

From nostalgic favorites to cutting-edge new creations, manufacturers are tapping into the biggest confectionery trends to make their mark. Color is a key factor in determining confectionery success. Achieving the right shade helps sweet treats to stand out on the shelves and even influences enjoyment of the flavor.1 EXBERRY® by GNT has been supporting development of confectionery products with an array of stunning colors for decades. Our experts have identified some of the most important trends within the industry – as well as providing tips on how Coloring Foods can help to deliver consumer appeal.

Memorable marshmallows

Marshmallow manufacturers are looking to ensure their products appeal to adults and children alike by adding a sense of fun, with unexpected colors, shapes and textures.4 2 For example, some are using color to create flavor confusion, while vibrant fillings and coatings can provide further twists. Colorful seasonal launches and limited editions are proving popular too7, such as red and pink marshmallow products for Valentine’s Day. EXBERRY® concentrates are an ideal solution to add clean-label color to marshmallows as well as their fillings and coatings.

Far-out flavor experiences

Consumers today love to experiment with new flavors.8 In the US, 31% of consumers say they want to see more chocolate with unique sweet flavors, for example, while 29% want more chocolate with savory tastes.9 As a result, manufacturers are now exploring opportunities for exciting taste combinations. Salted caramel and chili chocolate are among the best established examples; shoppers are now also keen to experiment with further twists such as bitter and smokey tastes.10 Striking colors go hand in hand with new flavor experiences and, with a diverse array of clean-label shades available, EXBERRY® Coloring Foods present the perfect choice.

Functional ingredients in fashion

Healthier treats provide strong appeal to the shoppers of the future, with Generation Z consumers especially keen on functional benefits.10 These benefits have already proved particularly important in the gum and mint categories7, and other confectionery products are now getting in on the trend. From CBD-infused chocolate to candy offering a nootropic boost10, manufacturers are discovering ways to take their products to the next level. EXBERRY® is a plant-based coloring solution that can transform healthier treats’ appearance without compromising on the label.

Golden oldies

From pulled chews to hard-boiled candies, demand for traditional confectionery remains high.2 7 However, while classic treats can bring back fond memories, ingredients such as artificial colors should be left in the past. Coloring Foods can help manufacturers recreate old-fashioned favorites while meeting modern demands for clean ingredient lists.

Plant-based picking up pace

With plant-based diets going mainstream, manufacturers are increasingly developing confectionery without animal products including colors such as carmine.2 3 The number of confectionery launches with a vegan claim saw a 24% average annual growth between 2014 and 2018.4 With interest in plant-based alternatives continuing to rise, some of the world’s biggest brands are now changing their recipes to meet demand.5 Mintel suggests that, while there is huge potential in vegan sweets, there is a need for more transparency around the ingredients used.6 EXBERRY® Coloring Foods are made entirely from fruit, vegetables and plants, providing an ideal choice for any plant-based confectionery product.

1 Spence, C. 'On the psychological impact of food colour' Flavour (2015) 2 thefoodpeople 'Confectionery & Sweet Snacking' 3 Mintel 'Vegan Chocolate Moves From Margins To Mainstream' (2019) 4 Innova Market Insights ‘Top Ten Trends For 2019 Confectionery’ (2019) 5 Forbes 'Cadbury Plans To Make A Vegan Version Of Its Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar' (2020) 6 Mintel 'UK Sugar And Gum Confectionery Market Report' (2020) 7 Innova Market Insights 'Product Trends: Still Looking Sweet?' (2019) 8 Technomic '2019 Flavor Consumer Trend Report' 9 Mintel 'Bite-Sized, Functional And Premium Chocolates Gain Popularity In The US' (2018) 10 thefoodpeople ‘Confectionery: Snapshot’

Emma Leys
Marketing Communications Assistant