Thu, Feb 19, 2015 - Page 4 News List

Nestle USA strips artificial bits from chocolate candy

AFP, WASHINGTON

No more artificial flavors and colors in Butterfinger, Babe Ruth or any Nestle chocolate candies in the US, because Americans want them gone, the Swiss food giant said on Tuesday.

Nestle USA pledged to remove artificial flavors and government-certified colors from all its more than 250 products by the end of the year.

“We’re excited to be the first major US candy manufacturer to make this commitment,” Nestle USA Confections & Snacks president Doreen Ida said.

The unit of the world’s leading food company said its customer research on brands like Butterfinger showed US consumers prefer candy that is free of artificial flavors and colors.

The company also cited Nielsen’s 2014 Global Health & Wellness Survey, which found more than an 60 percent of Americans said the absence of artificial colors or flavors was important to their food purchase decisions.

Nestle USA said it would replace the artificial flavors, and colors certified as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with ingredients from natural sources.

For example, annato from the seed of the fruit from the achiote tree will replace Red 40 and Yellow 5 in Butterfinger’s crunchy center. Natural vanilla flavor will replace artificial vanillin in Crunch.

“We know that candy consumers are interested in broader food trends around 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,” Nestle said.

The revamped products will begin appearing on store shelves by the middle of this year, labeled “No Artificial Flavors or Colors,” it said.

And all newly launched chocolate and non-chocolate candy products marketed by Nestle USA will be made without artificial flavors or colors, it pledged.

The company also said it is working on removing caramel coloring, used in nine of its chocolate products.

Caramel coloring, a common food coloring, is under scrutiny by consumer activists who say it may cause cancer.

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