Just a few months ago cereal giant General Mills announced plans to remove artificial flavors and colors from all of its cereals over the next two to three years, and now its nixing them from all its fruit-flavored snacks, including Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot, Fruit Gushers, and all of the company’s shapes products, such as its Scooby-Doo! line.
Currently, more than 20 percent of its fruit-flavored snacks are already free from artificial flavors and colors, such as Mott’s and Fiber One branded snacks. The remainder of the reformulated fruit-flavored snacks will begin appearing on grocery store shelves in January 2016. The company expects to have 100 percent of its shape products meet the standards by the end of March 2016, and its Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot, and Fruit Gushers products by the end of 2017.
“We believe in the products that we have today and see this as an opportunity to make them even better," said Jacquie Klein, senior marketing manager, fruit flavored snacks. “This is all about continuing to deliver what families want and meet the changing needs of consumers over time."
Just two years ago, General Mills committed to sustainably sourcing 100 percent of 10 priority ingredients by 2020, representing 50 percent of the company's total raw material purchases. The priority ingredients include oats, wheat, corn, dairy, fiber packaging, cocoa, vanilla, palm oil, sugar (cane) and sugar (beets).
Yesterday’s announcement confirms the fact that the clean-label movement continues to trend upward with no ceiling in sight. Several other Big Food companies, including Nestlé, Kraft Foods and Campbell Soup Company have removed artificial ingredients from their product offerings, but General Mills says it is the first major manufacturer in the fruit flavored snacks category to commit to removing artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources across its entire line.