General Mills Will Remove Artificial Colors And Flavors

June 22nd 2015

Laura Donovan

General Mills announced in a blog post on Monday that it plans to remove artificial flavors and artificial sources of colors from the rest of its cereals by the end of next year.

Currently, more than half of all General Mills cereals do not contain artificial flavors or colors from artificial sources, so the company plans to implement the changes on roughly 40 percent of cereals over the next couple of years. General Mills hopes that 75 percent of cereals, including Reese’s Puffs and Trix, will be without artificial flavors and sources by January 2016.

What impact will this have on cereal appearances?

Jim Murphy, president of General Mills' Cereal division, said in a statement that the change comes in response to consumer demand for healthier food items. Though the cereals may look slightly different after the adjustments are made, the goal is to keep them looking as similar to their previous appearances as possible.

General Mills artificial flavor removal from cereals

General Mills artificial flavor removal from cereals

“We’re simply listening to consumers and these ingredients are not what people are looking for in their cereal today,” Murphy said. "With our consumers, it reached a tipping point in the last couple of years with the trend toward simpler food. I remember the meeting where we all looked at each other and said ‘We’re just done with these, we’re going to do the whole line.’”

Lauren Pradhan, senior marketing manager for wellness strategy in the Cereal division, said General Mills has heard from consumers that they don't want dyes in their cereal. This isn't just limited to breakfast food either. Two months ago, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese pledged that next year, it will stop using artificial preservatives or synthetic colors in favor of natural sources like paprika, annatto, and turmeric following customer requests for healthier items.

"We've met with families in their homes and watched them prepare Kraft Mac & Cheese in their kitchens," Triona Schmelter, Vice President of Meals, said in a statement. "They told us they want to feel good about the foods they eat and serve their families, including everything from improved nutrition to simpler ingredients. They also told us they won't compromise on the taste of their Mac & Cheese – and neither will we. That's why we've been working tirelessly to find the right recipe that our fans will love."