Candies and breakfast cereals are not the only food products that use artificial colours to give them bright makeovers. There are a number of unexpected items like cheese, dried fruit, salmon and tuna that get some visual help from food dyes. Now that more consumers are aware of these production techniques, many are asking manufacturers to turn towards natural alternatives — if these companies don’t make the transition, customers may take their business elsewhere.
More consumers are becoming wary of artificial ingredients in their groceries, including food colouring. They are afraid that artificial colours could be bad for their health and for their families, since some of the dyes have been linked to allergic reactions and behavioural problems like hyperactivity. What complicates the issue is that many consumers don’t know the natural colours of their food products, especially after they have been dried, partially cooked or frozen—this is a big reason why many companies are hesitant to give up on the practice. People associate certain ingredients with specific hues like cheddar cheese and orange or salmon and pink, and deviating from those correlations could result in lost sales.
Instead of skipping food colouring altogether, companies can use dyes made from natural ingredients in their product recipes. They can get these helpful substitutes from one of the top food ingredient companies in the country,CCC Ingredients, which carries a range ofnaturaldyes from their global partner ROHA;namely, their product lines Natracol and Futurals are designed to appeal to brands that want to clean up their labels and move away from artificial colours. The Natracol line uses foods like carrots, paprika, turmeric, beetroot and annatto to make rich and brilliant shades, while Futurals uses a variety of sources like vegetable concentrates, fruits, herbs, algae and edible flowers. By turning to a food ingredients supplier with convenient substitutes, companies can have products that look vibrant and delicious without upsetting consumers.
So, What Can You Do?
If you belong to a large company in the Canadian food industry, you should follow in the footsteps of business behemoths like Kraft, Nestle and General Mills. These are just some of the major manufacturers switching to natural colours for the recipes of their top-selling products and receiving positive feedback from buyers for making those changes. For instance, Nestle’s famous chocolate bar Butterfinger now has its centre dyed with annatto instead of Yellow 5 and Red 40 for a golden hue. The veteran company Campbell’s Soup is removing artificial colours and artificial flavours from all of their products in North America — they are committed to accomplishing this enormous change by the end of August 2018. If these influential members of the food industry can execute such a significant transformation, then it should be possible for any other company in the field.
Keeping your food products looking tantalizing and on brand may not be possible without dyes, but there are natural alternatives that will give you the same enticing hues. This way you can avoid changing your products too much or losing a portion of your customer-base — you might even gain more customers for making the tremendous switch.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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