With consumers seemingly favoring organic foods, several well-established food producers are generating changes as well. Nestlé USA announced it’s going to remove the artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors from all chocolate candy products by the end of this year.
At present, more than 250 products across 10 brands contain artificial colors, artificial flavours or both. The change would affect several popular bars among these such as Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Skinny Cow, Raisinets, Goobers, Sno-Caps 100 Grand, Oh Henry! and Chunky.
The new products, with a No artificial flavors or colors label, would start appearing on store shelves by midyear, Glendale-based Nestlé USA said.
Doreen Ida, president of Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks, called the move "an important milestone" for the company, which makes a range of other food products.
"We know that candy consumers are interested in broader food trends around fewer artificial ingredients," said Ida in a statement. "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."
The company said that the artificial flavors and colors will be replaced with ingredients from natural sources. For instance, the color of Butterfinger's crunchy center will be made with annatto, derived from the seeds found in the fruit from the achiote tree, replacing the dyes Red 40 and Yellow 5. In Crunch bars, natural vanilla flavor will replace artificial vanillin.
Nestlé said the changes will not affect the candies' taste or price, adding that it conducted consumer testing to make sure the recipes maintain their taste and appearance.
"We never compromise on taste," said Leslie Mohr, nutrition, health and wellness manager, Nestlé Confections & Snacks. "When making these changes to more than 75 recipes, maintaining the great taste and appearance consumers expect from the chocolate brands they know and love is our No. 1 priority."
All new launches of candy products, such as gummies and sours and chocolates will be free of artificial flavors or colors.
The company also said it is working on removing caramel coloring used in nine of its chocolate products. The caramel coloring is being analyzed by consumer activists who believe it causes cancer. The chemical compound in caramel coloring is being reviewed to make sure that its use in food remained safe.