Colour Special

Viva Magenta! The official 2023 colour of the year creeps into confectionery

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Pretty in pink: magenta is the colour to watch in 2023. Pic: GettyImages
Pretty in pink: magenta is the colour to watch in 2023. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags Colours Confectionery Candy

Apart from Barry Callebaut’s Ruby Chocolate, released over four years ago, the confectionery industry has yet to seriously embrace Viva Magenta, but expect plenty of examples at this year’s ISM trade show and the Sweets & Snacks Expo in May in Chicago.

"Viva Magenta 18-1750, vibrates with vim and vigour," said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute. “It is a shade rooted in nature descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength. Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, and a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative."

Tony’s Chocolonely Milk Caramel Cookie Chocolate Bar has a magenta look in its packaging and Chocolove’s raspberries in Dark Chocolate is also a playful take on this year’s theme, while Japanese Candy’s Pocky Strawberry Cookie Sticks includes bright pink packaging with a pink strawberry flavoured creamy coating on its confectionery - so is this year's colour about to create an impact in candy?

 “Viva Magenta is a shade of deep red that is rooted in nature. There is no doubt that nature will be a common trend in colours for 2023; with the new post-pandemic way of life, we are experiencing more of the outdoors than ever before and this is translating into many aspects of our lives, including bakery,” Jeff Turner of BFF, told CN’s sister title

With Tik-Tok emerging as a powerful online marketing tool, brands need plenty of vibrant, positive colours to make an impression and confectionery that looks good and tastes good will appeal to a younger generation of social media users.

Apart from trendy magenta, reds, oranges and yellows have always been popular with confectionery brands and softer shades including soft pinks, yellows, blues, mints and greens, are expected to create calming, nurturing and serene bakery experiences that invite people to reconnect with themselves and those around them.

“We have seen mood-boosting flavour profiles such as ‘sleep chocolate’ – which is chocolate mixed with comforting ingredients such as lavender and chamomile. While this flavour profile may not appear starkly different in terms of colour, it adds to the overarching theme of feeling peaceful. Soft pastels may also be found on the packaging of such mood-boosting flavour profiles,” said Turner.

When it comes to cocoa and chocolate, Cargill’s research has revealed that more than half of EMEA consumers consider colour to be an important driver for their purchasing decisions and that four out of 10 consumers specify colour as a key factor in their bakery decision-making processes too.

The importance of food colour cannot be overstated, the company told Confectionerynews. The concept that “you eat with your eyes​” is becoming increasingly relevant in the social media age, as sharing photos and videos of your food has become part of the culinary experience for many. In fact, more than half of EMEA consumers consider colour to be an important driver for their cocoa and chocolate purchasing decisions - an area where we have focused our innovation on.

Cargill research shows that visual appearance is especially important for confectionery products – from pralines to ice cream. In bakery, every second consumer places large importance on visual appeal, and four out of ten even specify colour as a key factor in their decision-making process.

So how do we utilize this knowledge to bring the very best product offer to our customer?

Cargill has  developed a range of chocolate and cocoa products to help brands create products that truly capture the eye of the everyday consumer.

This includes its  Bright White chocolate, the first truly white chocolate in the marketplace (historically, what was considered white chocolate was actually cream-coloured). With Bright White, 92% of consumers rated it notably whiter than the white chocolate currently sold, and we’ve found that its stunning visual appeal has been a huge draw, providing an exciting canvas to bolster the visual appeal of all kinds of end products, including bakery, confections and dairy.

Cargill views pure white chocolate as growing in popularity (sales up 12% in 2021), and a trend Olam’s ofi has picked up on with its deZaan Moonlight extra white cocoa butter, which allows producers to create confectionery coatings and fillings in a bright white colour.

On the other end of the scale is Cargill’s Gerkens Magnificent Black, the darkest addition to its  Gerkens cocoa powder portfolio. It was developed specifically for the bakery space, where darker colours are associated with more intense flavour, better taste and considered more premium. Cocoa products such as Cargill Gerkens BL84 Magnificent Black (released three months ago), which has been developed specifically for the bakery sector with a focus on black cocoa biscuits, is proving popular with consumers.

Similarly, the company’s new Gerkens DB400 cocoa powder reflects consumer desires for heightened sensory experiences, with a dark brown colour and a strong chocolatey promise. With deep tonal aspects, dark richness and delicious taste, this cocoa powder brings a touch of magic to a wide range of applications. After all, colour is an important aspect of the entire culinary experience and an important part of purchasing decisions both for our customers and for the average consumer.

But what about Viva Magenta? 

According to’s blog the colour also ties nicely in the emerging ‘Barbiecore’ movement.  Like the name sounds, Barbiecore is all about bringing the bright pink colours, whimsy, and high fashion sense of the beloved Barbie doll to events and is a particular favourite for wedding themes. 

When creating a pretty Viva Magenta pink candy buffet or candy display at home at any of Barbie’s parties, bulk candy is a great place to start. Start with classics like Clever Candy Sour Watermelon Gummy Bears, and then work in other unique shapes and flavours like light and airy Clever Candy Strawberry Pink Puffy Puffs and twisty Raspberry Jelly Pretzels, NassauCandy recommends.

Staying in North America popular flavours such as watermelon, mango and berry,  continue to show massive growth year-over-year, and are providing inspiration for other regions around the world. In addition to pink, saturated shades of orange, blue, teal and purple will accompany flavour profiles, such as blue raspberry and ube,  an eye-catching purple and natural sweetness inspired by Japanese sweet potato can be found in custards, breads, and icings.

According to research by food processing company Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) keep an eye out for ‘fierce flavours and saturated shades: “Consumers are being drawn to playfulness and excitement, and attention-grabbing saturated shades are back, specifically, the vibrancy, optimism and boldness of bright pink. This corresponds with unique flavours, such as dragon fruit, pink grapefruit, fruit punch, rosé and pink florals, presenting in baked goods, desserts and cocktails, as well as sauces,” it said in its research published at the end of 2022.

This move towards simplicity and wellbeing, as well as playful colours, is also supported by the overarching demand for clean labels. With 32% of global consumers planning to make improvements to their sleep habits or health over the next twelve months, 69 % say simple, recognizable ingredients influence their purchasing decisions."



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