Yum! Brands, which owns both Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, says the two fast food chains will be getting a facelift. Taco Bell will be removing artificial flavors and colors, high fructose corn syrup, added trans fats, and palm oil from items on its menu by the end of 2015, while Pizza Hut will be removing artificial flavors and colors from its pizzas by July in an effort to revive lagging sales, according to The Street.
The bold move will impact 95 percent of Taco Bell’s products—but will not include co-branded items like PepsiCo or Doritos-flavored taco shells. By removing Yellow No. 6 from its nacho cheese and Blue No. 1 from its ranch dressing, for example, the mega taco chain hopes to appease consumers that are looking for more transparency and less complicated ingredients. The company said it will remove artificial preservatives where possible by 2017.
“People haven’t slowed down, and more than ever want quality and convenience,” Brian Niccol, CEO of Taco Bell Corp. said in a statement. “They are seeking more information and a variety of options they can customize to meet their lifestyle, without giving up the flavors they love or the innovative food they expect at Taco Bell. They’re also telling us less is más when it comes to ingredients, so we’re simplifying with natural alternatives and staying true to who we are and what makes us unique.”
Taco Bell has taken recent steps toward appealing to the modern fast food consumer by removing additives like BHT/BHA and MSG. It also removed kids meals from its American stores. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut said it will reformulate its menu to remove artificial flavors and colors from its nationally available pizzas, and the brand has also removed trans fats and MSG from its menu.
“Today’s consumer more than ever before wants to understand the ingredients that make up the foods that they enjoy,” David Gibbs, CEO of Pizza Hut said in a statement. “As the world’s largest pizza company that has unrivaled heritage in quality and flavorful pizzas, it only made sense for us to lead the category in this area. We are committed to doing this the right way and to make the changes that ensure only the highest quality and greatest flavors in our food.”
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Image: Mike Mozart