The colorful ingredients taking over our plates in 2023

The trend for bold colors and flavors in food and beverages is rising this year. With consumers increasingly exposed to an array of global food trends, including a wide range of exotic flavors and colors, many are becoming more experimental. At the same time, confectionery products, treats, and snacks are often a moment of fun and relaxation in consumers’ daily lives, so they can be a great opportunity for experimenting with new and exciting shades. 

First impressions

How food looks is often as important as the way it tastes, and color is a big part of that. Not only is it the first thing we see, but it also greatly impacts what we feel and experience when eating or drinking. For example, reds, oranges, and yellows are the shades frequently used by food brands because they are known to excite the senses and make us feel hungry. 

Colors of the rainbow

For brands seeking a radiant red hue for their product development, selecting a red cocoa powder can deliver an appearance that will capture consumers’ attention. ofi's deZaan D11R cocoa powder has an intense red color and balanced cocoa flavor, perfect for creating ice creams and dairy applications.


At the other end of the color spectrum, white chocolate and confectionery are growing in popularity. Data from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) shows that white chocolate sales rose by 12 percent in 2021, compared to milk and dark chocolate, which were up 9 percent. The light color can be achieved with cocoa butter – the fat extracted from the cocoa bean that gives chocolate its distinctive flavor and texture.


Tapping into this trend, ofi's deZaan Moonlight extra white cocoa butter allows manufacturers to develop confectionery coatings and fillings in a stunning bright white color. For example, we recently developed bonbons using deZaan Moonlight cocoa butter for the outer layer and deZaan TrueDark N11D cocoa powder for a dark filling, creating an appealing color contrast from first bite.


For those looking to embrace their darker side, ofi’s deZaan D11SB Dutched cocoa powder is extra dark in color, and its strong chocolate taste excels in cereals and ice creams, tempering sweetness with bitter hints and a strong cocoa flavor.

Balancing bold with natural

The demand for ‘natural’ products, colorings, and flavors, remains a consumer priority. The challenge for our customers is creating the eye-catching colors consumers want while retaining the clean and natural product positioning they also demand. Cocoa powder can help strike the right balance by replacing certain ingredients like 4-mei, a carcinogenic caramel coloring used in many food and beverage products, including baked goods. Another option is using highly pigmented spices like turmeric, which adds a zing of bright orange or yellow.


Consumer priorities and preferences are continually changing. But one thing we’re sure of is that using bold colors and flavors will be an important way to delight and excite consumers this year. And at ofi, we’re dedicated to helping our consumers find their perfect match. Get in touch to find out more.