Plant-based reds made from sweet potatoes can stop candy consumers bugging out

Red is a dominant color in the world of confectionery. In recent years, publications including Slate, Huffington Post, and Reader’s Digest have covered the topic in articles such as “Everyone Likes Red and Pink Candies Best,” “A Marketer Explains Why Red And Pink Candies Are The Most Popular,” and “There’s a Scientific Reason Why Pink and Red Candies Are So Irresistible.”

However, the media has also drawn attention to the fact that a significant proportion of red confectionery is colored using carmine. Huffington Post, for example, also published an article titled “Why You Should Never, Ever Give Red Candies To Your Valentine.”

Carmine is a red dye that is widely used in confectionery. It is derived from the inedible cochineal insect and manufactured using chemical processes and extracts such as aluminum oxide. As the BBC pointed out: “If you are horrified by the thought of eating insects, the bad news is that you have probably done so many, many times.”

With consumers becoming increasingly interested in how their products are made, it is more important than ever to use coloring ingredients they can trust.


Carmine alternative: Plant-based red from sweet potato for confectionery 


Our new shade of EXBERRY® Coloring Foods can provide a plant-based, halal, and kosher replacement for carmine. EXBERRY® Shade Rubescent Red is made from red sweet potato using traditional, physical processing methods, supporting completely clean and clear label declarations. In addition, GNT has developed a special “Colored with fruit & vegetables” logo that can be used on the front of the packaging to provide instant reassurance to consumers.

Shade Rubescent Red is available in liquid, powder and micronized powder formats and is ideally suited to confectionery applications including aerated gums, marshmallows, panned products (hard and soft panned), and chocolate. It also delivers on performance, offering vibrant yellowish red hues with minimal off-taste, excellent stability, and the ability to achieve bright hues.

Based on the principle of coloring food with food, our new EXBERRY® red provides maximum consumer acceptance along with exceptional performance.

Download the factsheet now and find out how EXBERRY® can take your confectionery products to the next level or get in touch with our friendly experts now.


Lorraine Jansen
Content Marketing Specialist