How Companies Can Make The Switch To Natural Food Dyes

Many businesses within the food industry depend on the use of artificial food dyes to colour their food and beverage products. They use artificial colours because consumers expect their food and beverages to look a certain way — they want their cherry-flavored candy to be red and cheddar cheese to be orange. The food industry can’t do away with food colouring altogether, but they can opt for more natural alternatives.


Many consumers are concerned about the use of artificial dyes in their food products and beverages because they believe that they have negative health effects. Studies have suggested that negative health effects of artificial dyes can include hyperactivity in children and a greater risk of cancer. Parents and guardians are especially anxious about these possible consequences because artificial food dyes are often used in products marketed towards children like candy, popsicles, cereal and soft drinks. As a way to protect their children from potential harm, parents advocate for businesses to remove artificial colours from their formulas. Here is a brief list of the artificial food dyes that are commonly used in the food industry and what food products and beverages they are found in:

  • Red No. 3 is used in candy and popsicles
  • Red No. 40 is also used in candy, along with sports drinks, cereals and condiments
  • Yellow No. 5 is used in candy, soft drinks, cereals, popcorn and chips
  • Yellow No. 6 is in candy, baked goods, preserved fruit and sauces
  • Blue No. 1 is used in ice cream, popsicles, icing and soups
  • Blue No. 2 is used in ice cream, candy, cereal and snacks

Instead of foregoing food dyes altogether, businesses can turn to aningredient supplier for natural alternatives. The innovative supplier CCC Ingredients carries a variety of natural food colours that will replace artificial choices, maintain the original look of the product, improve the company’s brand and appease consumers. These alternative dyes come from the supplier’s partner ROHA, a top-tier manufacturer and distributor that reaches consumers around the globe. Their line Natracol carries a variety of hues made from radish, turmeric and annatto that will pleasefood businesses looking for substitutions. Another excellent alternative to artificial dyes is their line Futurals, which is a series of dyes made from concentrates of vegetables, fruits, algae, edible flowers and herbs.

If businesses are hesitant about making the switch from artificial food dyes to natural replacements, they should research success stories from other brands. The company Kraft Heinz decided to forego artificial colours and changed the recipe for Kraft Dinner—they made the modification secretly to test if customers noticed and sales remained the same. The company Nestle received praise for opting to remove artificial colours from chocolate bars like Butterfinger, Crunch and Baby Ruth so that they could prove their commitment to cleaner labels.

Businesses within the Canadian food industry need to make the switch from artificial colours to more natural and healthful ingredients. An experienced supplier like CCC Ingredients can get these businesses the replacements that they need so that they can please customers, adapt to the clean label movement and improve their brands.