Kellogg recently announced plans to remove artificial colors and flavors from its cereal brands and snack bars by 2018.
“We know consumers are looking for foods with simpler ingredients, and work is well under way to answer that call,” Kellogg North America president Paul Norman said during a recent earnings call, reports Food Business News. “Already in North America, 75 percent of our cereals are made without artificial colors, and more than half are made without artificial flavors.”
According to The Columbus Dispatch:
Kellogg Co., based in Battle Creek, Mich., has been struggling to grow cereal sales as Americans increasingly reach for alternatives like Greek yogurt and breakfast sandwiches. CEO John Bryant has also conceded that Special K in particular has been hurt by changing attitudes toward health and dieting, with people showing more interest in overall ingredients, rather than just calories.
Companies like Kellogg tend to use artificial colors and flavors because they cost less than using natural alternatives. But now, mega food manufacturers are responding to pressure to remove these ingredients in order to stay competitive. Kraft and Nestlé, for example, have taken similar steps as consumers continue to grow wary of synthetic ingredients.
Today, nearly 80 percent of parents of 3-12 year olds in the U.S. and U.K. claim they're concerned with the use of synthetic colors in food and beverages, which have been associated with behavioral problems in children—specifically, hyperactivity and difficulty paying attention. In all, 83 percent of parents surveyed said they are more likely to buy foods with natural colors instead of synthetic, with 70 percent of those surveyed saying they would pay a premium for these products, according to FoodNavigator-USA.
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