Nestlé USA has committed to removing all artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors, like Red 40 and Yellow 5, from all of its chocolate products by the end of 2015.
It’s the first major candy maker in the U.S. to take such an action.
Nestlé says it plans to replace artificial colors and flavors with ingredients from natural sources.
For example, in Nestlé's Butterfingers, annatto, which comes from the seeds of the achiote tree, will replace Red 40 and Yellow 5 in the chocolate's crunchy center. And, natural vanilla will replace artificial vanillin in Crunch.
“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 number one priority,” says Leslie Mohr, nutrition, health and wellness manager, Nestlé Confections & Snacks. “We conducted consumer testing to ensure the new recipe delivers on our high standards for taste and appearance."
The company's new changes will affect all of Nestlé's chocolate brands, including Crunch, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Skinny Cow, Raisinets, Goobers, Sno Caps, 100 Grand, Oh Henry and Chunky. In total, more than 250 products and 10 brands will undergo a change.
And, any newly launched chocolate and non-chocolate products will also be made without artificial flavors or colors.
Meanwhile, Nestlé is also pursuing the removal of caramel coloring, an exempt-from-certification color additive used in nine Nestlé treats, from its chocolate products.
“Nestlé is the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company and our commitment to remove artificial flavors and certified colors in our chocolate candy brands is an important milestone,” says Doreen Ida, president, Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks.
Nestlé is aware that consumers want food with fewer artificial ingredients. “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," says Ida. "We’re excited to be the first major U.S. candy manufacturer to make this commitment.”
By mid-2015, reformulated Nestlé products will hit store shelves identified with a "No Artificial Flavors or Colors" claim on the packaging.