In the poll of more than 500 people, 88% said they would be prepared to spend more on a product if it was made with natural flavourings and colours.
Of these, almost half (47%) said they would pay up to 50% more on a flavoured milk beverage costing $1.50.
The survey also found that consumers preferred the appearance of natural colours.
The researchers asked the respondents to express their visual perceptions of naturalness when shown two flavoured milk drinks formulated with Lycored’s Tomat-O-Red natural colours and another made with Red 3, an artificial colourant.
Despite not being told which was which, Tomat-O-Red RP, was rated the most natural looking, followed by Tomat-O-Red R. Red 3 came third.
Stability of colours
Lycored also ran a trial to establish the stability of its natural colours following ultra-high temperature processing.
In each case, shelf-life tests found that the Tomat-O-Red products exhibited “excellent colour stability”, outperforming the Red 3 artificial colourant.