We eat and drink with our eyes, with color often being the first attribute that influences taste expectations and even mouthfeel. Consumers may perceive light yellow as refreshing lemon, while milky brown is perceived as creamy chocolate. That’s why color beverages are so important in the consumers mind.
The shade of color affects perception. A bright red strawberry yogurt drink suggests sweetness, perhaps like a strawberry-flavored candy, whereas one would expect a dull red to have a more farm-fresh profile. A deep violet blue may represent a blueberry, while a more pastel shade suggests cotton candy.
Color can also be an assessment of quality. Consumers expect consistency and an accurate representation of the specified flavor. Beverage formulators use color to help compensate for color loss that may occur during shelf life due to environmental exposure.
Sometimes, color is just added for fun. Without color, colas would not be brown, punch would not be red and powdered lemonade drink mixes would not be yellow.
Color matters, and in today’s beverage market where consumers scrutinize labels and want minimally processed products, formulators are turning to colors produced from natural sources.
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