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article imageNestle bows to consumers: No more artificial flavors or coloring

By Karen Graham     Feb 21, 2015 in Food
Nestle USA announced this week it would be dropping artificial flavorings and colors from its all of its chocolate candy bars by the end of 2015. The move to natural flavors and colors is in response to consumer demand.
Nestle made the announcement on Tuesday morning, Feb. 17, promising consumers they will be able to get their favorite candy, like Butterfinger, Nestle Crunch, and Baby Ruth bars by the middle of 2015. Doreen Ida, president of Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks, said in a statement that the move toward natural flavorings was in response to Americans moving away from artificial flavoring in their foods.
The company will replace artificial flavorings with annatto from the seeds found in the fruit of the achiote tree and natural vanilla flavor. Other brands that will also be affected by the change include, Skinny Cow, Raisinets, Goobers, Sno-Caps, 100 Grand, Oh Henry! and Chunky.
According to Salon, the next step Nestle plans to take will include removing artificial colors and flavorings from their gummy and sour candies, like Sweet tarts and Nerds. A company spokesperson said these candies will be harder to transition because the bright colors are difficult to find naturally. But all the new candies, like Wonka Randoms, which came out last year, are made from all-natural ingredients.
Nielsen’s 2014 Global Health & Wellness Survey indicated that over 60 percent of Americans surveyed said they consider a product having no artificial flavors or coloring important in the foods they but.
"We know that candy consumers are interested in broader food trends around fewer artificial ingredients," said Ida. “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.” She added the company was "actively pursuing the removal of caramel coloring from its chocolate products.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Annie Gasparro reports the move to all-natural will be easier for Nestle than its larger competitors, Hershey's and Mars, who together make up 65 percent of sales. Nestle, with 5.0 percent of the market topped over $900 million in 2013.
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