Do Natural Colors Mean Sacrificing Vibrancy?

According to a 2017 national consumer research study conducted by Sensient with the Natural Marketing Institute, 71% of the U.S. general population is concerned about the presence of artificial color in their everyday food and drinks, including nutraceutical products. This number has steadily increased over the past few years, and today’s shoppers are seeking brands who listen to their needs.

Color plays a crucial role in determining consumer preference. In our large scale research study, purchase intent scores increased by about 5% merely by changing color vibrancy. Preference scores in side-by-side comparisons were up to 5 times higher versus an otherwise identical product.

With comparison data, it is clear that color can be the difference between a successful launch/renovation and one that fails to live up to consumer expectations.

While formulating with color from fruits and vegetables is generally more complex, there are unfortunately a lot of misconceptions and hasty generalizations out there about natural color performance, especially in nutraceutical and over the counter products. We want to set the record straight for all product developers and foodscientists.


The truth is today’s recent advancements and innovations enable natural colors to actually outshine the shade capabilities in many of their artificial counterparts. As long as you are formulating with the right solution, natural colors are bold, vibrant and stable. In fact, there are actually more shade possibilities available from natural colors than artificial.

The power of nature is colorful!