General Mills to remove artificial flavors, colors from all cereals

by Keith Nunes
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MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. plans to remove all flavors and colors perceived as artificial from its cereal line during the next two to three years. The company said it has been researching the effort for several months and that it will affect approximately 40% of its cereals.

“We’re simply listening to consumers and these ingredients are not what people are looking for in their cereal today,” said Jim Murphy, president of General Mills’ cereal division in a blog post on June 22.

The company said it is aiming to have the ingredients removed from 75% of its cereal line by January 2016 and 90% of the portfolio by the end of 2016.

General Mills defines an artificial flavor or color as an ingredient that is derived from something other than a plant, spice or another substance found in nature. For its cereals like Trix, the company said it will use fruit and vegetable juice and spice extracts for color. In the Reese’s Puffs line, the company will use flavors like natural vanilla.

To color the Reese’s Puffs line, General Mills will use flavors like natural vanilla.

“With our consumers, it reached a tipping point in the last couple of years with the trend toward simpler food,” Mr. Murphy said in the blog post. “I remember the meeting where we all looked at each other and said ‘We’re just done with these, we’re going to do the whole line.’”

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