Color Me Blue Food

Jun 10, 2020Beverages, Categories, Nutrition, Savory, Snacks, Sweet Goods & Dairy

Keith Urban may argue “blue ain’t your color”  but that’s so 2016! According to Sherwin Williams, Behr, and Pantone (who are all experts in color) 2020 is all about blue. Sherwin Williams named Naval as the color of the year and Bluebird was one of the 2020 color trends  identified by Behr. Pantone also announced a blue, Classic Blue to be specific, as the color of 2020.

Well, blue and “cool” tones in general are having a moment. The menu monitoring data provider Technomic predicted we would see cool colors – blue, green, and purple – replace warm colors like red, yellow, and orange throughout all of 2020.

When considering blue food and beverage products, you might think of blueberries, then struggle to name any other foods naturally as rich in blue pigment. This is partly because blue anthocyanins are chemically less stable than other natural pigments, which means they break down faster. Blue has also been suggested as an appetite-suppressant, which would explain why there’s not many foods that are naturally blue.

So what are some options for natural sources of blue color for food?


Spirulina is an algae of blue-green coloring that is rich in nutrients. It was consumed by the Aztecs and NASA has explored growing it in space for use by astronauts. While yes, the color is striking, you may not realize it is possibly the most nutritious food on a gram-for-gram comparison. It’s been popularized for its protein content – on par with eggs – as well as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

If you’re a food or beverage company looking for a pop of color that’s natural and vibrant, you’re in luck! Naturex has a color library of over 40 shades of the rainbow, and all of them come from natural sources and appear on ingredient statements as recognizable and understandable. Spirulina is one of the options Naturex offers and you can create a number of captivating blue and green colors in several applications.

Blue Matcha

Move over green matcha! Another Instagram-worthy tea is having a moment. We’re familiar with green matcha’s antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, metabolism boosting effects, and mainly – energy benefits. However, blue matcha is not the same as green matcha. It’s not even made from the same leaves and doesn’t have the same antioxidants or caffeine as green matcha. It is made from a substance called butterfly pea powder, which has a stunning blue hue. Implicit benefits may include anti-aging, eye and hair health, and reducing the risk of cancer.

The main reason you might add blue matcha, or butterfly pea powder, to a food product is because it’s a natural, clean-labeling way to add color. Color is important when it comes to purchase decisions – consumers make 90% of decisions based on emotion, and color definitely influences emotion.

Impact of Using Blue

The color blue has been linked to calm, relaxation, and appetite suppression. Even without the added impact of COVID-19, our lives are already crazy busy! Utilizing natural ways to slow down and relax will remain popular throughout 2020. Keep an eye on Instagram feeds and grocery shelves to see what consumers are making and companies are producing that are visually appealing, while staying more natural.

  • Blue-Jicama-Beverage
  • blue-butterfly-pea-powder-1
  • blue-matcha-smoothie-bowl
  • Ultraviolet-Kombucha
  • blue-matcha-latte
  • Blue-Tropicana

If you’re looking for more ingredients that provide function and color, check out what Savannah had to say about functional, colorful ingredients. She features charcoal, turmeric, and ube!



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