Shades of Sunshine – The colourful cues that make our food feel good

Summer is here. No, really, it is. Stretching out before us like a huge, rich canvas of potential.

And, as our seasons change, so do our food trends and innovations. Brace yourself for brightness.

It is clear that colours effect our mood and bright, sunny hues lift our spirits.  Food and drink are such important parts of our culture – playing a crucial role in our emotional well-being, our most social moments and our life experiences.

We are experiencing a very interesting evolution in the “cues of health” side of the category.  It is no coincidence that there has been a 36% growth of new food and beverage launches with a “feel good” claim*.

Sunshine shades are driving innovation – market experts The Food People identifying “Mellow Yellow” as a key trend for 2019, uniting consumers around a feeling of joy.  The Instagram-snazzy colours look good, feel great and taste fresh.

And it works both ways. I remember vividly my disappointment when I opened a can of a new, naturally-flavoured, no-unnatural-additive, sparkling orange drink, only to pour it into my iced tumbler and realise it was colourless! I felt truly disappointed – gutted, even.

These bright, warm, healthy hues are trending in ingredients and cuisines too. Fresh, wholesome, aromatic, rich and flavourful Middle Eastern and Northern African cuisines are attracting global attention, as consumers become ever-bolder, seeking new, adventurous flavours. Turmeric – your day has come, as both the golden spice and the hottest new health craze.


It is no accident that our carrots are orange (thank you, the Netherlands) – we love the colour and it shouts freshness and vitality. In China, yellow is considered to be nourishing. In India, it symbolises warmth and love.  Natural food colourings have a packaging advantage – brands can list them as ingredients, not numbers. Where 53% of consumers now often check the ingredients and nutrition labels*, that’s a win.

Healthy, natural food no longer hides in the bland aisle – it pushes its way proudly to the shop-front, shouting out feel-good sentiments to our passing taste-buds.

Enjoy your sunny summer

By: Simon Stokes

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