Sector News

The color purple: Pantone crowns “Very Peri” as Color of the Year for 2022

December 12, 2021
Consumer Packaged Goods

Pantone has unveiled a new blue shade, Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri, a vibrant periwinkle blue hue with a violet-red undertone as its Color of the Year selection for 2022. For F&B applications, industry players believe this could boost social media activity, while eliciting themes of empowerment and immunity.

Blending the faithfulness and constancy of blue with the energy and excitement of red, this happiest and warmest of all the blue hues introduces an empowering mix of newness, says Pantone.

In F&B, blue and red hues have been increasing in popularity, with coloring foods supplier GNT predicting red to be the color of the year in 2021.

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Maartje Hendrickx, market development and marketing and communication manager at GNT, which recently showcased its “Power of Color” research at Fi Europe, says purple was the company’s color of the year for 2018 due to its powerful visual appeal, but for 2022, we’re moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to color.

“As you can see in the Pantone animation, it’s all about color change in the modern world. That’s something that we definitely see in the food and beverage industry as well as general color trends,” she outlines.

Connecting with the audience
Customization and inclusivity are key for today’s market, so it’s vital that brands identify tailormade color solutions that will connect with their target consumers, adds Hendrickx.

“Our Power of Color research has been developed using consumer psychology and semiotics to enable brands to find the right color for their specific product.”

“Color creates meaning in F&B categories and those meanings change over time and between contexts,” she continues. “Even the use of different types of purple could have different meanings. For example, in the European confectionery market, vibrant colors were previously perceived as being high quality, with intense flavors and creating a sense of excitement. Now, they can be associated with increased sweetness and sugar content. Therefore, many brands have moved away from those color signals by launching products with pastel shades.”

Purple can be used across a vast array of applications, from berry-flavored granola bars to blueberry porridge to violet gins, but it’s predominantly used for confectionery, Hendrickx adds.

Further, she notes how confectionery consumers are increasingly seeking out products that give them an experience, pleasure and power. Colors that attract attention are a good fit because they can provide a sense of mystery and stimulate creativity. This can include cosmic purple gradients as well inky blacks, blues and smokey greys combined with visual and haptic effects,” Hendrickx underscores.

According to Givaudan’s Food for Health study, consumers tend to associate purple with sleep and relaxation, adds Nathalie Pauleau, global product manager for Sense Colour at Givaudan.

“This color and its connotation are particularly relevant for 2022 as consumers continue to turn their focus inward, exploring the themes of mental health and self care. We can imagine this shade popping up in everything from confectionery and bakery decoration to smoothies, lattes and ice creams,” she details.

Moreover, Pauleau believes that natural colors will undoubtedly play a key role in meeting the demand for purple F&B. “For example, ingredients developed from blue spirulina and black carrot can be combined to achieve the optimal purple clean label solution, delighting consumers’ senses and giving them the peace of mind of a recognizable ingredient for a winning multi-sensory food experience.”

A boost for curiosity and creativity
Displaying “carefree confidence and a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit,” inquisitive and intriguing Pantone’s Very Peri opens up an “altered landscape of possibilities,” the global color authority outlines.

The color is hailed as “rekindling gratitude for some of the qualities that blue represents complemented by a new perspective that resonates today.”

Pantone further adds that as we are living in transformative times, Very Peri “symbolizes the global zeitgeist of the moment and the transition we are going through.”

Change ahead
As we move into a world of unprecedented change, the selection of Very Peri brings a “novel perspective and vision of the trusted and beloved blue color family,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director, Pantone Color Institute.

“Encompassing the qualities of the blues, yet at the same time possessing a violet-red undertone, Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression.”

According to Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, the Pantone Color of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, “expressing what people are looking for that color can hope to answer.”

“Creating a new color for the first time in the history of our Pantone Color of the Year educational color program reflects the global innovation and transformation taking place,” she outlines.

“As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication and as a way to express ideas, emotions and engage and connect, the complexity of this new red-violet-infused blue hue highlights the expansive possibilities that lie before us.”

Purple and blue hues in F&B
Thanks to their health credentials, purple berries, corn, rice and potatoes have all had their shining moments in F&B. These colors have been associated with immunity, antioxidants and fighting certain cancers by consumers prioritizing day-to-day immunity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Purple colors may offer a more vibrant and provocative undertone as a natural progression of blue hues.

In a previous interview with FoodIngredientsFirst, Andrew Kendrick, senior technology and innovation manager at DDW The Color House, revealed how customers frequently request purple hues obtained from beetroot.

“Beetroot coloring pigments are often used in strawberry ice cream or milkshakes, for example. We see a lot more demand for this, but particularly for vivid pinks and purples across the spectrum.”

“We can offer it as a concentrate for those specific applications,” he notes, adding that as an ingredient, beetroot is gaining traction.

“We’re often asked about blends, and our customers want to dial into various shades of colors,” he further explains. “As an example, there was a blend of beetroot and spirulina which gave the exact shade of purple for a specific formulation.”

“It’s all about having different hues of purples. Science and color technology allows us to experiment with different blends, creating valuable and bold colors.”

Naturally, F&B color trends are ever-changing and can inspire industry to innovate toward more visually appealing NPD. From naturality to supply source transparency demands and “Instagrammability,” vibrant colors can help boost sales and serve as an easy marketing point. It remains to be seen how Pantone’s new shade will influence industry.

As industry adapts to the “Age of the Influencer” – a Top Trend for 2021 crowned by Innova Market Insights – social media will continue to shift consumer behaviors in the food colors arena.

By Elizabeth Green


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