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Growing Demand for Natural Food Colors Will Increase the Adoption of the Butterfly Pea Flowers

   December 18, 2020

Butterfly pea flowers (Clitoria ternatea) have been widely used in foods and drinks due to their natural blue shade and color-changing properties. These flowers are native to Southeast Asia, where they are used in teas and natural food. Butterfly pea flower is rich in anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant that changes color to purple when mixed with acidic substances, like lemon juice. This color-changing characteristic makes the butterfly pea flower a trending ingredient for use in food and beverage processing. For instance, in 2018, Starbucks launched the Butterfly Pea Lemonade Cold Brew, a color-changing cold brew layered with lemonade and topped with cold brew coffee. It is not only their color, heritage, and natural profile that makes butterfly pea flowers fascinating, but also their apparent robust health benefits.

The demand for natural food colors over synthetic food colors is increasing due to the growing consumer awareness regarding organic products, health hazards associated with synthetic colors, and health benefits of natural food colors. Rapid use of artificial production sources to increase food production has led to various health hazards. Rising health consciousness and inclination toward environment-friendly products drive the demand for naturally grown food products worldwide. Thus, due to the growing demand for natural food products, food manufacturers are increasingly using natural food colors to retain the attractiveness of foods and beverages after processing. While opportunities exist to develop more unique colors in food and drinks, there remains a demand for these colors to be sourced naturally. Globally, the natural food colors market is expected to reach USD 3.2 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 8.4% during 2019-2027 (Source: Meticulous Research).

The demand for organic foods is constantly increasing mainly due to the consumers' perception that they are healthier and safer than conventional foods. For instance, the global organic food market is expected to register a CAGR of 12.2% from 2020 to 2027 to reach USD 272.18 billion by 2027 (Source: Meticulous Research). Organic food is produced without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Natural food colors are widely used in the manufacture of organic foods to make them more attractive. Furthermore, the food & beverage industry's expansion positively impacts the global natural food colors market, as natural food consumption is increasing worldwide.

Butterfly pea flower is a commonly used ingredient in Southeast Asian countries due to its vibrant hue, making it perfect for traditional events. However, it is now being increasingly used as a natural food coloring agent and is being incorporated into food and drinks due to its eye-catching effects. It has practically no scent or flavor, making it the perfect food coloring agent for any dish or drink.

Meticulous Research® estimates that the global butterfly pea flowers market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027 to reach USD 102.4 million by 2027.

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