Nestlé USA recently announced it is removing artificial flavors and artificial colors from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of this year. Over 250 products and 10 brands will be free of artificial ingredients. By mid-2015, products featuring a label that declares “No Artificial Flavors or Colors” will start appearing on store shelves.
Nestlé USA plans to replace artificial flavors and colors with ones from natural sources, and cites several examples. In the Butterfinger candy bar, annatto, derived from the seeds in the fruit from the achiote tree, will replace Red 40 and Yellow 5. In Crunch, natural vanilla flavor will replace artificial vanillin.
“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,” said Doreen Ida, president, Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks, in a statement. “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. We’re excited to be the first major U.S. candy manufacturer to make this commitment.”
According to Ida, Nestlé USA conducted research on certain brands and found that U.S. consumers prefer candy to be free of artificial flavors and colors. A 2014 survey found that over 60 percent of Americans say no artificial flavors or colors is important to their food purchasing decisions. In other words, Nestlé is responding to consumer demand.
What’s the big deal, you might be asking? Artificial flavors and colors have been linked to hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to the book Unjunk Your Junk Food by the creators of the site NaturallySavvy.com (Where I've been a writer for years).
Here is an overview of some studies linking artificial flavors and colors to ADD and ADHD:
Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.