The GNT Group is a pioneering family-owned company specializing in future-proof products made only from natural ingredients.
Its EXBERRY portfolio is the leading global brand in coloring foods and Petra Thiele, managing director for GNT Europa GmbH, said it is ideally placed to help confectionery and snack manufacturers meet the soaring demand for plant-based products.
Established 46 years ago, GNT has had a strong presence at ProSweets in Cologne for many years, and Thiele said, EXBERRY’s coloring foods are an ideal option for manufacturers seeking to tap into a trend that saw vegan confectionery product launches increase by 140% from 2013 to 2017.
“With more than 400 shades to choose from the creative possibilities are endless,” she said.
Consumers always want to have newest, hippest things and we think the blue and green colors can make really attractive products -- GNT Group market development manager Maartje Hendrickx
‘Shades of Aqua’, is a key food and beverage color trend for 2020 and is part of EXBERRY’s Love Color initiative with vivid blues and greens driving innovation and providing various possibilities to create Instagrammable products that stand out of the crowd.
GNT Group market development manager Maartje Hendrickx is responsible for market development and looking for new areas for its colors.
She told ConfectioneryNews: “What makes us unique is that we basically grow our raw materials ourselves together with our dedicated farmers in our factories in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, and from there we produce our colors that we sell worldwide."
Hendrickx said the process is “just like mixing paint" and there are over 400 colours in the EXBERRY palette.
“We are definitely seeing a growth in the plant-based trend, not only on meat and dairy, but also in confectionery, with people slowly moving away from gelatine into pectin prodcuts. All our colours are 100% vegan and plant-based.”
Every year, GNT sets the color agenda. “We are trendsetting," said Hendrickx, “every year we have the color of the year and this year it is aqua. So everything between the blue and green spectrum.
“We think on one hand, people are looking for much more natural alternatives, and on other hand, they don't want to be bored. So consumers always want to have newest, hippest things and we think the blue and green colors can make really attractive bakery products and also confectionery snacks.”
Hendrickx said the most important trend in 2020 is plant-based. “Sustainability and traceability - people want to know where their products are coming from, not only products, but ingredients, and we can tell our story from farm to fork."
Although the company supplies to the big multinationals, the ability to innovate also runs through its DNA, and it is always searching for new smaller start-ups with which to collaborate.
“That's our strategy," said Hendrickx, “on the one hand, we want to be a part of the big players and on the other hand, we see more and more start-ups popping up - we are always looking to be ahead of the trends.”
- Check out our video interview with Hendrickx from ProSweets 2020 where she talks more on the vegan and plant-based trends.