Q&A: How to Innovate with Enticing Natural Flavors and Colors

January 2023

When choosing products from store shelves or at a restaurant, consumers often select the exciting flavors and vibrant colors that stick out to them. In fact, research shows that shoppers are interested in the playfulness, excitement and attention-grabbing effects of bold colors, and feel a positive mood boost when eating foods that have unique flavors1.

While there is an interest in bold flavors and colors, people want to avoid artificial ingredients and prefer the benefits of natural ingredients. By using all-natural freeze-dried ingredients, brands can deliver a memorable experience that health-conscious consumers will come to crave.

We spoke with Itzel Rincon, NPI and Sales Director for the Americas at Chaucer Foods, to learn more about the demand for bold, natural color and flavor, and potential opportunities to inspire your team’s next eye-catching offering.

Q: Why do you believe the demand for natural ingredients has increased, and do you think it will continue to rise?

A:A: Today, consumers are both aware of the health benefits that certain ingredients can provide and the harm that other ingredients may have. As this way of thinking has spread, we’ve seen more and more people start to demand natural ingredients across all their product purchases. Whether it’s an immunity-boosting sports beverage or an indulgent chocolate cupcake, they want to read the label and know exactly what each ingredient is. Your team can stay a step ahead by offering innovative alternatives to fan-favorite foods—alternatives that deliver everything people want without any of the unpronounceable additives they are trying to avoid.
Q: What benefits do natural ingredients provide the consumer?

A: Beyond bringing a sense of comfort to your customers, natural ingredients also boast a wide range of health benefits that artificial additives just can’t match. Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables can help improve one’s health through the vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, zinc, and phosphorus. In addition to the enhanced nutritional value, freeze-dried ingredients can help provide benefits that help both the mind and body, like energy, immunity and heart health. By including our nutrient-dense ingredients within food and beverage innovations, shoppers will not only have a delicious product—but can reap the health benefits, too.

Q: What formulations work best with natural ingredients, such as freeze-dried fruits and vegetables?
A:As a result of their various forms and versatility, our freeze-dried ingredients work in a wide range of formulations, such as:

– Electrolyte-boosted beverages
– Better-for-you frostings
– Convenient on-the-go snacks

Our freeze-dried ingredients have an extended shelf-life due to the freeze-drying process, and retain all their natural flavor, color, and nutritional value—making it a fantastic addition for product innovations.

Q: Where do you see innovation heading for natural products—for example, confectionery and/or beverages? Where are the gaps in the market where innovators could capitalize with new products?
A: Right now, we’re seeing a lot of natural alternatives for specific categories like beverages, but there is a real gap in the market for sauces, dips, and spreads. Because these products are traditionally shelf-stable, they often include artificial ingredients to help make it last longer. By innovating natural condiments and dips, brands can capitalize on the demand for recognizable ingredients in an otherwise untapped sector.
What Chaucer Foods’ ingredients are best suited to infuse the most memorable flavor and color within a formulation?
A: Simply put—all of them! Chaucer Foods’ ingredients are available in forms such as powders, pieces and whole, making it an adaptable product to help influence innovation. While all of our freeze-dried ingredients can help provide a memorable flavor and color, certain ingredients such as pomegranate, redcurrant, red pepper and purple sweet potato have a naturally bold appearance, helping add a more enticing visual experience for the consumer.
Q: What’s your #1 recommendation for businesses looking to compete with eye-catching, tasty options in 2023?
A: If there’s one recommendation shaping your innovation of 2023 let it be this: Bring Back Bold. Whether it’s bold flavor, bold color, bold combinations, or bold innovations, working with natural ingredients doesn’t mean you are limited in what you can create or that you can’t incorporate visually appealing colors and enticing flavors. By using our freeze-dried ingredients, you can capitalize on the demand for natural ingredients, while ensuring your customers think about your brand first when they are out shopping for an everyday meal or planning their next memorable dining experience.

Looking for more information on how to use freeze-dried ingredients to innovate natural products? Contact us at customer.services@chaucerfoods.com to connect with our team.

1- “ADM Releases Color and Flavor 2023 Trend Report,” Perfumer & Flavorist. November 2022.

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