Blue wine, red bread and pink coffee: Today’s food and drink manufacturers are entering the technicolor age

July 8, 2016
5 min read

Since before green eggs and ham, surprisingly-colored food and drink innovations have been something of a novelty for manufacturers. Today, however, technicolor launches are becoming a legitimate marketing tool for not only innovative start-ups, but also for mainstream brands to make packaged products worthy of consumer praise and social media posts.

Color is one of the most significant visual cues that contribute to the sensory appeal of food, as explored in Mintel’s 2016 Global Food and Drink Trend, Eat With Your Eyes. While flavor has long been the focus for innovation, our more visual and share-focussed society calls for innovations that are boldly colored, artfully constructed and sometimes just cool.

With the latest launch being a bright blue wine, we’ve looked at this as well as 8 other products launched around the world over the past year that embrace every color of the rainbow:

Blue Wine, Gïk, Spain

Blue Wine, Gïk, Spain

Launched in Spain, Gïk claims to be the first ever blue wine, and is crafted by six young Spanish entrepreneurs. According to the inventors, “Drinking Gïk is not just about drinking blue wine; you are drinking innovation. You are drinking creation. You are breaking the rules and creating your own ones. You are reinventing traditions.” The wine is colored with anthocyanin, a pigment derived from the skin of red grapes and plant-derived indigotine.

Baked Snack Crackers, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Colors, Canada

Baked Snack Crackers, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Colors, Canada

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Colors Snack Crackers are formulated with natural colors and baked with real cheese to provide the same great cheddar taste, with no artificial colors or flavors. They contain zero trans fat and are low in saturated fat.

Pink Raspberry & Black Espresso Ice Cream Sticks, Magnum Mini, Portugal

Pink Raspberry & Black Espresso Ice Cream Sticks, Magnum Mini, Portugal

Magnum Mini Pink Raspberry & Black Espresso Ice Cream product contains the following two varieties: Pink, which is raspberry flavored ice cream with a raspberry sauce and coated with milk chocolate with a pink layer; and Black, which consists of vanilla flavored ice cream with a coffee sauce and coated with dark chocolate. The pink raspberry stick contains colorants E171 and E172, while the black espresso stick does not contain colorants.

Lemon Flavored Corn Chips with Salt, Doritos Rainbow, Mexico

Lemon Flavored Corn Chips with Salt, Doritos Rainbow, Mexico

Lemon Flavored Corn Chips with Salt come in a variety of colors. The product is made with nixtamalized corn, contains 0g trans fats, and retails in a recyclable 155g pack featuring Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Terracycle logos. The product contains colors tartrazine, brilliant blue FCF, annatto, allura red AC, sunset yellow FCF, indigotine and erythrosine. In launching the product, Doritos supports the Todo Mejora Mexico project to fight discrimination and ‘make the world more colorful’.

Black Rice Noodle, Peacock Eomma Gijun Guksujanchi, South Korea

Black Rice Noodle, Peacock Eomma Gijun Guksujanchi, South Korea

Peacock Eomma Gijun Guksujanchi Black Rice Noodle contains 15% black rice and is free from synthetic colorings and synthetic flavorings. This product has been developed as part of Professor Han Youngsil’s food research to consume five different types of colored food per day.

Raspberry Flavor Glitter Jelly, Hartley's, UK

Raspberry Flavor Glitter Jelly, Hartley’s, UK

Launched in the UK, Hartley’s Raspberry Flavor Glitter Jelly comprises raspberry flavor jelly crystals with edible glitter. The product is made with colors: beetroot red and titanium dioxide.

Sushi Rice Rainbow, Satoru, Mexico

Sushi Rice Rainbow, Satoru, Mexico

Satoru Arroz para Suchi Cocido Blanco y de Colores (Sushi Rice Rainbow) comprises white, purple, blue and red colored rice for sushi. The rice is colored with vegetable colors brilliant blue, red No. 5, blue No. 1 and red (16255: 1).

Pink coffee beans, Origem Coffee Co., Brazil

Pink coffee beans, Origem Coffee Co., Brazil

Origin Coffee Co.’s pink coffee beans are made using manually selected red Icatu coffee beans. This naturally processed product from Serrote Farm in Socorro, São Paulo, features notes of watermelon, pineapple, jelly, and sweet fragrant. The coffee retails in a 250g pack featuring the Facebook and Instagram logos.

It is important to note that the long-term prospects of technicolor food and drink may be reliant on formulations that also appeal to larger food and drink trends, such as the clean label trend. While some consumers may be drawn in by the colors themselves, others are likely to examine the ingredient statement to ensure that the formulation matches their personal ingredient preferences. For many consumers, these preferences include an expectation that food and drink will be free from artificial ingredients, including colors, as observed by Mintel’s 2016 Global Food and Drink Trend, Artificial: Public Enemy Number One. Thus, technicolor food and drink that are made with natural colors could have a longer lifespan than those that rely on artificial ingredients to create the documentable, share-worthy products.

Mintel will be exploring the “Eat With Your Eyes” Trend with an interactive experience during the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) 2016 conference in Chicago July 17-19. If you are attending the show, stop by Mintel booth #4953, July 17-19 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m., to taste products and learn more about the growing importance of appearance in global food and drink launches.

Jennifer Zegler is a Global Food & Drink Analyst at Mintel. She joined the Mintel Food & Drink Platform after her tenure as a dedicated Beverage Analyst on the US Mintel Reports team. She researched and wrote many of the category reports with a focus on both alcohol and non-alcohol segments and packaging. During her career, she has also written for several food and packaging magazines covering the US snack food, bakery, confectionery, meat, and packaging industries.

Jennifer Zegler
Jennifer Zegler

Jenny Zegler is the Director of Food and Drink at Mintel. Jenny blends her trends expertise with food and drink topics such as health, formulation, sustainability and premiumization.

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