05 Nov 2018 --- Vegetable and plant-based snacks with ingredients such as beetroot, carrot and kale, are popping up more often on supermarket shelves. Color and flavor also come hand in hand and with international cuisine growing consumers are embracing new experiences, leading them to exciting worlds of taste, which is often shared through social media platforms.
Unusual and exotic colors can help to stimulate appetite and enjoyment, a key driver for consumers choosing products for snacking moments, according to GNT. And when it comes to flavor, Europeans, for instance, tend to choose ingredients such as exotic spice blends or wasabi. But even the most exotic flavor is not enjoyable without an appealing look. Natural colors are indispensable because they influence taste experiences and are the primary indicator of quality and freshness.
For example, the deep purple of beetroot or the vibrant orange of a carrot can easily be achieved with Exberry Coloring Foods (color concentrates made exclusively from fruit, vegetables and edible plants) from GNT– simply coloring food with food.
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Michael Serrur, Food Writer at GNT USA, highlights that major trends in food consumption all point in the same direction: playfulness and conscious eating.
To fulfill consumers’ demands for healthy and delicious snacks in appealing colors, manufacturers only have one choice: Coloring Foods. With Exberry colors from fruit, vegetables and plants – clean, clear and easy to understand labeling can be achieved. Exberry can be labeled quite simply as “Coloring Food” providing positive and informative communication for the consumer.
“Social media, especially photo-centric platforms like Instagram, is the perfect place to showcase the vibrancy of Coloring Foods. Showing examples of Coloring Foods in action brings awareness to the end-consumer and demonstrates that alternatives to synthetic dyes do exist. On our Instagram, @GNTGroup, consumers are impressed by the range of colors attainable using fruit, vegetables, and plants and that they are often surprised and relieved to know that companies are working with Coloring Foods more frequently,” Serrur explains.
This applies equally to snacks. Color is the first characteristic that customers recognize when browsing supermarket shelves: we eat with our eyes. The rise of social media has moved the importance of color up a level. Colorful and delicious looking food gets photographed and shared with friends and family on social media – be it pink crackers or rainbow popcorn.
Purple is just one unusual color becoming more popular in snacking products and weaving purple into savory applications is a great way to engage customers as well as suggesting potential nutritional benefits visually, according to GNT. Creating these eye-catching concepts in compliance with the global health drive requires clever product design and technical knowledge.
“At first, social media was only used by business-to-business suppliers as a tool to connect with potential and existing customers, but now it has become much more. We can engage with our business community as well as the end-consumer. It’s a helpful way to disseminate information quickly and gain better insight into what appeals to our audience,” explains Serrur.
Social media can offer a lot of insight because it draws information from such a diverse group of people, he notes. “Identifying snack interests requires scrolling through individual’s feeds, reading articles from industry professionals and using data published from research institutions.”
“The two trends we see gaining momentum are exotic flavors and captivating colors. As social media becomes increasingly visual, color helps make snacks more appealing and also helps indicate its flavor profile,” Serrur says.
Social media allows B2B suppliers to engage with their end-consumer on a more personal level. “We have fostered meaningful relationships with individuals who are interested and appreciate the idea of replacing synthetic color with colors from fruit and vegetables.”
“Besides, the rise of social media has had a significant impact on the food industry in particular, as online platforms have increased the importance of visual appeal. Colorful and delicious-looking food gets photographed and shared with friends and family online. By implication, there is a higher demand for vibrant colors in product development,” Serrur explains.
“As consumers continue to demand more transparency from food & beverage manufacturers, social media platforms will become important outlets for information, especially for B2B suppliers who otherwise have little to no contact with the end-consumer,” he concludes.
Due to today's increasingly hectic society, snacking is gaining in importance for consumers. People have little or no time to cook or to prepare food. But even when snacking in-between meals or on the go, food has to be fresh, appealing and satisfying, according to GNT, who has identified the top five snacking trends to fulfill consumers need for snacking, any time of the day. You can read more on GNT’s snacking trends here.
FoodIngredientsFirst recently featured a podcast on GNT's strategy.
By Elizabeth Green
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