People will pay almost 50 percent more for natural colors and flavors, according to new research from ingredient manufacturer Lycored. The information comes as companies across the country have jumped on the “natural” bandwagon, with everyone from Panera to Kraft Foods swapping natural flavors and colors for artificial ingredients.
Researchers asked 506 U.S. consumers if they’d be prepared to spend more on a product if it was made with natural flavorings and colors. Eighty-eight percent of them said they would.
How much more would they be willing to spend? A considerable chunk. Researchers asked the survey participants how much more they would be willing to spend on a product, such as a flavored milk beverage, which costs $1.50, if it was made with natural ingredients. On average, they said they would pay up to $2.20. That’s 47 percent more.
The survey also found that the respondents preferred the appearance of natural colors even when they were not told they were natural, according to Food Ingredients First. This info is useful to manufacturers with Technicolored products, says Fooddive.com in a post about the research. “Even though manufacturers with well-known brightly colored products have seen success in replacing some of the artificial colors—like General Mills in Trix cereal—it could be helpful to know that the public will pay for some of the needed increased investment.”