Nestlé USA says it will remove artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors, like Red 40 and Yellow 5, from all of its chocolate candy products. By the end of 2015, more than 250 products and 10 brands, including Nestlé Butterfinger, Crunch and Baby Ruth, will be free of artificial flavors and certified colors. Products will begin appearing on store shelves by mid-2015 and will be identified by a “No Artificial Flavors or Colors” claim featured on-pack.
“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 of Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks. “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 brands like Butterfinger, which indicates that U.S. consumers prefer candy brands they know and love to be free from artificial flavors and colors. Further, findings from Nielsen’s 2014 Global Health & Wellness Survey show more than 60 percent of Americans say no artificial colors or flavors is important to their food purchase decisions.
Nestlé USA says it is achieving this commitment by removing artificial flavors and colors and replacing them with ingredients from natural sources. For example, in the Butterfinger crispety, crunchety center, annatto, which comes from the seeds found in the fruit from the achiote tree, will replace Red 40 and Yellow 5. In Crunch, natural vanilla flavor will replace artificial vanillin.
“We never compromise on taste. 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 No. 1 priority,” said Leslie Mohr, nutrition, health and wellness manager at Nestlé Confections & Snacks. “We conducted consumer testing to ensure the new recipe delivers on our high standards for taste and appearance.”
According to Mohr, this change affects Nestlé’s current portfolio of chocolate brands, including Nestlé Crunch, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Skinny Cow, Raisinets, Goobers, Sno Caps, 100 Grand, Oh Henry and Chunky. Going forward, all newly launched chocolate and non-chocolate candy products (gummies, sours, etc.) introduced by Nestlé USA will be made without artificial flavors or colors. Additionally, Nestlé USA says it is actively pursuing the removal of caramel coloring from its chocolate products. Caramel coloring is an exempt-from-certification color additive, which is used in only nine of the more than 250 chocolate products.