By: Victor Foo, General Manager of GNT Singapore Pte Ltd
A disruptive new trend is rapidly changing perceptions of natural color. Driven by Generation Z, “Healthy Hedonism” is inspiring a new wave of healthy and sustainable products with bold and bright colors.
Modern shoppers want food and drink to deliver pleasure and excitement. The more a brand stimulates the senses, the more deeply their products will resonate – and visual impact is more important than ever.
A recent FMCG Gurus survey of Asia-Pacific consumers foundi:
- 65% say they like the food they eat to have bright and intense colors
- 60% say they like products with new and experimental colors
Thanks to Gen Z’s creativity and digital fluency, all the hottest food trends are coming from social media, which has ensured that color is center stage. TikTok, in particular, has proved a catalyst for viral videos featuring colorful recipes that showcase food as experimental expression, from cloud bread to watermelon mustard.
ASMR – or autonomous sensory meridian response – content is helping to elevate fun and aesthetics over taste, with clashing colors, playful textures, and satisfying squelching sounds coming to the fore. The hashtag #foodasmr has over four billion views on TikTok, where influencers rack up millions of followers for videos of them preparing and eating food.While sensory stimulation is vital, Gen Zers are also conscious consumers who want ethical, sustainable products. This is a disruptive demographic that is determined to rewrite the rules. They are making political statements through the food and drink they buy and supporting brands representing their agendas.
Holistic mind and body wellness is another key focus. As we emerge from the pandemic, there is strong demand among Gen Z and beyond for natural, healthy food and drink that influences a positive state of mind. This means we are now set to see a global surge in demand for eye-catching products that are good for people and the planet. For food and beverage brands, this means adopting a new visual language for guilt-free food and drink.
New color directions
We’ve identified three new “color worlds” that are emerging as a result of the Healthy Hedonism trend.
The first is Soft Play Pastels. Using soft, luminous, tone-on-tone pastel hues, it has a serene, uplifting effect with cool, calm-inducing aesthetics. Its cute and playful colors create a spark of joy while showcasing products’ fresh flavors. It can provide unexpected color reveals and textural changes that offer sensorial satisfaction – think biting into squidgy mochi balls to reveal soft fillings with different colors or breaking open vibrant, fluffy cloud bread.
The second color world is Altered States, which uses psychedelic and cosmic color schemes to signal the connection between mind and body. It can involve mind-altering or mood-boosting ingredients and products that literally change states.
For example, herbal teas with oneirogens can deliver natural color through functional ingredients such as turmeric, lavender, and blue lotus. Effervescent tablets can be used to transform water into a colorful drink spiked with fruit, vegetables, and electrolytes.
Riotous Joy is the third color world characterized by bright, clashing, highly saturated shades. It questions aesthetic norms by being bold and loud, indulging the senses through combinations of slick, gooey, gelatinous, and syrupy textures in hyper-tactile food and drinks. It’s all about celebrating Gen Z creativity and challenging tradition in a rebellious but super-positive way.
For example, stacks of plant-based, low-carb pancakes with rebellious natural color combinations can turn perceptions of healthy eating on their head.
Consumers are demanding more from their food and drink than ever before – and GNT’s plant-based EXBERRY® concentrates are the ideal option for the Healthy Hedonism era.
They’re made from edible fruit, vegetables, and plants using traditional, physical processing methods such as chopping and boiling. We’re also committed to becoming the leaders in our field on sustainability by 2030, unveiling an ambitious plan with 17 targets. Just as importantly, EXBERRY® colors can be used to achieve striking shades from across the rainbow in almost any food and beverage application.
We have vast experience bringing spectacular concepts to life using plant-based concentrates, showing that sustainable, natural color can be truly bright and beautiful. Consuming food and drink is an emotional, sensory experience. We’re here to inspire brands to connect with consumers’ needs through color and unleash their products’ true potential.
To appeal to the Healthy Hedonism generation, use bold, vibrant hues and play with color combinations. Try sugary pastels alongside vivid reds, an offbeat all-in-one monochrome for a daringly bold statement, or contrasting, clashing color for an enjoyably jarring, rebellious look.
Look around at nature, be inspired by the rainbow, and reflect that kaleidoscopic joy in your products. It’s time to celebrate disruption with bright, impactful, and unexpected color choices that make people smile.
To access GNT’s exclusive color trend analysis on Healthy Hedonism, visit https://exberry.com.
iFMCG Gurus ‘Custom Survey – Global and Regional – Flavor, Color & Texture’ (Q4 2022)
Victor Foo, General Manager of GNT Singapore Pte Ltd, has spent his career in the fragrance, flavors, and food ingredients industries, with the last 12 years with EXBERRY® by GNT. EXBERRY® is the global market leader in Coloring Foods, used by more than 2,000 food and beverage companies, including the leading food and beverage producers in the world.
This story first came out in our issue, “Brewing Up the F&B Industry With a Burst of Flavors and Colors.”