General Mills Cereals announced Monday it has committed to removing all artificial flavors and colors from its entire portfolio of cereal brands that include household names such as Lucky Charms, Resee’s Puffs and Trix among others.
Currently 60 percent of the companies cereals—including Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cheerios—are already without artificial ingredients.
“At General Mills Cereals, we have been upgrading the nutrition and ingredients in our cereals for years to meet people's needs and desires,” said Jim Murphy, president of the General Mills cereal division. “We’ve continued to listen to consumers who want to see more recognizable and familiar ingredients on the labels and challenged ourselves to remove barriers that prevent adults and children from enjoying our cereals.”
According to a survey conducted by Nielsen on behalf of the company, 49 percent of households are making an effort to avoid artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources.
Responding to this consumer preference, the company’s will switch to familiar, more recognizable ingredients and plans to have more than 90 percent of its cereal portfolio free of artificial flavors and colors by the end of 2016.
Trix and Reese’s Puffs will be among the first to see the changes. In the case of Trix, General Mills will now use ingredients like fruit and vegetable juices and spice extracts such as turmeric and annatto to achieve the red, yellow, orange and purple colors. Reese’s Puffs will continue to use peanut butter and cocoa and incorporate natural vanilla flavor to achieve the same taste.
“We have a lot of hard work ahead of us and we know some products will present challenges as we strive to uphold the taste, quality and fun in every spoonful of cereal,” said Kate Gallager, General Mills cereal developer. “Cereals that contain marshmallows, like Lucky Charms, may take longer, but we are committed to finding a way to keep the magically delicious taste as we work to take out the artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources.”