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Nestlé USA announced this week that it plans to remove ingredients such as Red 40, Yellow 5 and artificial vanillin from all of its chocolate candy brands in the U.S. — more than 250 products.
The company said it will replace them with ingredients from natural sources such as annatto from the seeds found in the fruit from the achiote tree and natural vanilla flavor.
Some of the other brands affected by the change include Skinny Cow, Raisinets, Goobers, Sno-Caps, 100 Grand, Oh Henry! and Chunky.
The move is a response to consumer trends, the company said, citing Nielsen’s 2014 Global Health & Wellness Survey which indicated that more than 60 percent of Americans consider no artificial colors or flavors important when deciding what food to buy.
“We know that candy consumers are interested in broader food trends around fewer artificial ingredients,” said Doreen Ida, president of Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks. “As we thought about what this means for our candy brands, our first step has been to remove artificial flavors and colors without affecting taste or increasing the price. We’re excited to be the first major U.S. candy manufacturer to make this commitment.”
Nestlé added that any new candy the company introduces — both chocolate and non-chocolate such as gummies and sours — will be made without artificial flavors and colors, and that the company is also “actively pursuing the removal of caramel coloring from its chocolate products.”
Last year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Renee Shutters, a mother of two from Jamestown, NY, started a Change.org petition calling on Mars Inc. — a Nestlé competitor — to stop making its M&M’s with artificial colors because, they claim, the dyes “can trigger hyperactivity in sensitive children.”
“This is a big victory because consumers like you are telling the food industry that you don’t want these artificial ingredients,” Shutters wrote in an petition update about Nestlé’s announcement.
Nestlé’s chocolate candy products will begin appearing on store shelves minus the artificial flavors and colors in mid-2015 and will include a “No Artificial Flavors or Colors” label.