As Oterra’s distributors in South Africa, we explain how natural colours can both support consumer demand for naturality and align with the positive effects of active ingredients that promote mental health benefits through the association of specific colours and positive emotions.

In recent years, there has been a distinct shift in consumer preferences towards natural ingredients in the food and beverage industry. This trend is driven by a growing awareness of the potential health risks associated with artificial additives, such as synthetic colours. However, the focus on natural ingredients goes beyond mere health concerns. An emerging consumer trend is the use of natural colours and colouring foods to tap into positive emotions and address mental health awareness.

Food and beverage companies are incorporating specific colours to target positive emotions and enhance mental well-being.

Colours have a profound influence on human emotions and can evoke various psychological responses. Recognising this, food and beverage companies are incorporating specific colours to target positive emotions and enhance mental well-being. For instance, bright, vibrant hues like yellow and orange are associated with feelings of happiness and energy, while tranquil blues and greens may evoke a sense of calmness and relaxation.

By deliberately selecting colours that align with positive emotions, product developers aim to create a sensory experience that promotes mental health awareness. This approach not only attracts consumers seeking natural alternatives but also appeals to those searching for products that support their emotional well-being.

Holistic approach to well-being

In response to the consumer trend, innovative products that combine natural colours and mental health awareness have emerged. Drinks infused with vibrant beetroot extracts are marketed as a ‘natural pick-me-up’ to energise consumers and boost mood. Similarly, teas infused with soothing chamomile and lavender offer a calming effect on the mind. These product developments highlight the industry’s commitment to incorporating natural ingredients and leveraging colour psychology to create holistic experiences for consumers.

The consumer trend towards natural ingredients, particularly regarding natural colours and colouring foods, reflects an increasing emphasis on mental health awareness. As consumers become more conscious of the relationship between their diet and emotional well-being, food and beverage companies are harnessing the power of natural colours to create positive sensory experiences. By continually innovating and educating consumers, the industry can support mental health awareness while meeting the demand for natural and authentic products.

This article was first published in SA Food Review, February 2024 edition

The glaze in these doughnuts incorporates natural colours from Oterra, distributed by SK Chemtrade in South Africa