Nestlé Pulls Artificial Colors and Flavors from 250 Products Sold in the U.S.

Nestlé Pulls Artificial Colors and Flavors from 250 Products Sold in the U.S.

Nestlé, the Swiss processed food giant, has announced plans to remove artificial colors and flavors from all of its U.S. chocolate products.

The announcement will impact some 250 products sold in the U.S. market. “The move was prompted by its market research, which showed that US consumers wanted the additives gone,” reports the BBC.

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Nestlé claims that it will use “natural sources” to replace the controversial ingredients like Red 40 and Yellow 5. “For example, the centre of its Butterfinger bars will now have annatto, which comes from the seeds found in the fruit from the achiote tree, instead of certified [artificial colors] Red 40 and Yellow 5,” BBC reports. "In CRUNCH, natural vanilla [flavor] will replace artificial vanillin."

In total, more than 75 recipes will be reworked to remove the artificial ingredients. A recent Nielsen poll found that more than 60 percent of Americans want artificial colors and flavors removed from their foods.

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“We know that candy consumers are interested in broader food trends around fewer artificial ingredients,” Doreen Ida, Nestlé USA’s president of confections and snacks said in the Wall Street Journal. “As we thought about what this means for our candy brands, our first step has been to remove artificial flavors and colors.”

The European Union has already banned some controversial artificial colors because of the link to behavioral issues in children, research U.S. regulators have dismissed. But still, consumers are becoming increasingly more skeptical about artificial ingredients, and many of Nestlé ’s products target children.

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Nestlé is the largest manufacturer to make this announcement in the U.S. market, but others are expected to follow.

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[Editor's Note: If you want to eliminate unhealthy ingredients and chemical additives from your diet for good, click here to sign up for a Naturally Savvy Get Healthy Challenge.]

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Jill Ettinger is a freelance journalist and marketing specialist primarily focused on the organic and natural industries, she bridges her love for changing the food system with her lifelong passion for writing and connecting people in their shared values. You can connect with Jill on Twitter and Instagram.