Chocolate-loving health nuts of the world, rejoice! Nestle products including Crunch and Butterfinger bars will contain no artificial flavors or colors by the end of the year.
The change will affect more than 250 products and 10 brands, but the company promises that price and taste will not be affected by the adjustments.
The company is the first candy manufacturer in the country to make this commitment, according to Doreen Ida, president of Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks. “Our commitment to remove artificial flavors and certified colors in our chocolate candy brands is an important milestone,” she said in a statement. “We know that candy consumers are interested in broader food trends around fewer artificial ingredients.”
Furthermore, the company is also working to remove caramel coloring from its chocolate products, though the coloring is an additive that’s classified as exempt-from-certification color and is used in only nine chocolate products.
Nestle’s move is part of a broader push by companies to make food more natural and healthier in recent years. Back in 2009, USA Today reported that cereal giant General Mills announced a goal of reducing sugar in their cereal products, which include Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs and Cookie Crisp. Post and Kellogg also worked to reduce sugar in their cereal products. While General Mills appears to have successfully reduced sugar, it’s doubtful Trix will ever be considered “health food.”
Small steps to more natural and healthier ingredients are a good start, but who’s to say if it’s out of concern for public health or for the sake of marketing. Either way, when food companies inch towards conscientiousness, the public eats it up. Last year’s Global Health and Wellness Survey from Nielsen show that more than 60 percent of Americans say that a lack of artificial flavors or colors is important to them when deciding on food purchases.