Paul Collins, Director of International Sales & Marketing, GNT International
GNT is the world leader in the field of coloring foods. We use fruit and vegetables as raw materials and process it physically with water – without any chemicals or organic solvents – to make a concentrate which can deliver the color. We pioneered this in 1978 so we have had 40 years in solving all of the technical issues related to using this type of color.
From very humble beginnings, the concept we created has since become the mainstream way of coloring food, and is an important alternative in replacing artificial color. This is very well established in Europe and North America, and is becoming a rapidly growing area in markets like Asia Pacific. All consumers everywhere want one thing in common, which is inspiring colorful food to enjoy, but it also has to meet their requirement of being healthy and natural.
GNT’s Business Philosophy
It is built around a deep understanding of the global consumer and what do they see as being good for them in the food that they purchase and consume. We talk about healthy natural, but also colorful food. We know consumers are driven by the phrase, ‘We eat with our eyes’, so the visual sense is really important. When you see the food before you taste it, it gives you signals on whether this is exciting or whether it is healthy. We deliver color from fruit and vegetables which fits in perfectly with consumer’s perception of healthy and natural product experiences.
On Manufacturers still using Chemical Colors
I think it is important that manufacturers follow what is happening at the consumer level. It is a misconception that you cannot have bright colors with coloring foods. There are many examples of finished products of beverages, dairy, and bakery items that are brightly colored by fruit and vegetables.
Admittedly, there is a cost in replacing artificial colors but the consumer benefits far outweigh the increase in cost of the color. Color is such a powerful attribute of a product because it is the first thing that captures your interest, and helps you make your decision whether it looks good before you taste it. That is why it needs to be delivered in the best way for the consumer.
I think manufacturers who embrace this are those who are fit for the future. With the help of social media, information spreads much faster than it did 20 years ago so consumers know what is possible, what are the options, and they are looking for something new, so coloring foods fits perfectly with this concept.
Victor Foo, General Manager, GNT Singapore
Driving Forces for Natural and Healthy Products in Asia
The trend is definitely increasing as Asia Pacific countries become more affluent and sophisticated in what they want. With social media becoming more a part of daily life, consumers are more aware and educated to know that chemicals do not equate with health. As middle-income consumers increase, households will seek more nutritious and healthier products for their children and themselves.
Natural Food Coloring is the Future
This is the future, and manufacturers who do not embrace coloring foods only stand to lose customer loyalty because people are becoming more aware of what they are putting in their mouth. All types of social media like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook contribute to the raising awareness of healthier and more natural ingredients.
Quality Controlled Products
Our company is vertically integrated, meaning we are in charge of the whole food supply chain, so it enables us to put in place stringent controls to ensure we have the best raw materials to produce quality products for our customers.
The first product GNT made was an extract from berries. That is how the brand, EXBERRY® came about. The brand stands for all our coloring products in the portfolio.
GNT International and Asia Pacific
GNT was established in 1978 in a small town called Aachen, Germany by our founder who is passionate about natural and healthy food coloring. It remains a private company with its headquarter in the Netherlands. We are proud to be family-owned business as we charter our own destiny. We are very dedicated and focused as we only have one business in making all our products from different edible fruits and vegetables like black carrots, pumpkin, elderberry, blueberries, hibiscus and etc.
GNT Singapore was founded in 2011 as we realized we needed to have a physical presence to manage the increasing demand coming from the markets in this region.
GNT in Thailand
The Singapore office is responsible for the Thai market. We are still growing and actively involved in trade shows like FIA, engage publications to raise awareness, and work with partners who visit customers in Thailand to promote our products, and have a dedicated salesperson covering the country.