INGREDIENTS 16 FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA DECEMBER 2020 / JANUARY 2021 I n 2021, red is set to take the world of food and drink by storm. Red inspires a range of powerful emotions, conjuring up thoughts of love, passion and romance. At the same time, it is also a highly stimulating colour that evokes feelings of excitement and invigoration. With consumers across the world searching for positivity after a difficult 2020, red is the perfect colour for the moment. Epitomising human vitality, it connects with that global desire for uplifting and energising products. It is also a huge hit on social media, helping consumers create Instagram posts based on a wide range of eye-catching red food and drink delights. THE RISE OF RED The possibilities for creating stunning red products are endless. For instance, seasonal confectionery launches for events such as Valentine’s Day and Christmas can be brought to life with vibrant reds, giving inspiration to products including gummies, lollies, jellies, hard- boiled candy and chocolate lentils. Baked goods, too, can benefit from red’s eye-catching fillings, inclusions and decorations. Dumplings are another great option, particularly during the Chinese New Year celebrations, with red providing a twist on traditional classic. In the world of snacks, red vegetables inclusions such as beetroot can add a touch of adventure as well as healthful appeal to breakfast bars, popcorn, crackers and crisps. Meanwhile, the younger generation is searching for something new and different from their alcoholic beverages, with striking colours and bold flavours coming to the fore. Red botanicals and ‘superfoods’ such as hibiscus, berries and pomegranate can provide a platform for spectacular colours as well as elevating innovation with exciting flavours. Non-alcoholic beverages can benefit from red as well. Consumers are seeking out convenient ways to improve their health, with immunity becoming a key area of focus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to red superfoods, red vegetables are now a popular addition to these functional drinks, from juice shots to probiotic drinks. Vibrant reds can also bring the best out of many ‘meaty’ plant-based products, providing that intensely appearance to hamburger and ground beef substitutes. Reds can even be used to help bring highly realistic colour to the new wave of plant- based fish. CLEAN APPEAL While red can ensure products have real visual appeal, it is equally important to only use colouring ingredients that consumers can trust. Shoppers are increasingly seeking out natural products and, for many, that means nothing artificial 1 . GlobalData research shows 45% of Asia-Pacific consumers associate the term ‘clean label’ with ‘free from artificial ingredients’ 2 . When it comes to artificial colours, Nielsen research has found that nearly two-thirds of Asia-Pacific consumers make an effort to avoid them 3 . Get ready for red Red is set to be the dominant colour trend in 2021. Victor Foo , general manager for GNT Singapore, explains why it is crucial to meet the demand for red food and drink with clean-label colours.