VIENNA, VA. — Vie de France is in the midst of a major clean label initiative. The effort to reduce or eliminate artificial ingredients is expected to wrap up over the next 12 months.
Vie de France said the company already has been working on the project since mid-2015. The company has eliminated ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, azodicarbonamide (ADA), partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) and preservatives from more than 30 products so far, and numerous additional products will join the list shortly.
In addition to its hallmark line of croissants, Vie de France offers Danish, puff pastry, sweet goods, muffin batters, bread, cookie dough and desserts. The company is a supplier of the baked foods line to food service and in-store baking customers and also is an operator of retail bakeries/bakery cafes.
“As awareness around preservatives, artificial ingredients and clear eating expands, the timing couldn’t be better to start this initiative,” said Jennifer Sharp, director of marketing.
Ms. Sharp said Vie de France customers have clearly expressed demand for “great tasting baked goods made from ingredients they can pronounce.” She described the effort to reformulate as part of “a natural evolution” for the company.
The company said a Clean Label Committee was established at Vie De France, comprising associates from research and development, marketing, quality assurance and purchasing. The group compiled a list of over 100 ingredients they deemed “unacceptable for baking.”
These ingredients are “avoided, already removed or actively being eliminated” from company formulations. The objective is to achieve “clean label status” for as many products as possible.
The company acknowledged that removal of certain products has proven challenging. For example, certain natural colors don’t brown when baked or adversely affect flavor. It is because of challenges such as these and a commitment to maintaining quality that Vie de France said the reformulations will take as much as 12 months.The Vie de France move comes amid a tidal wave of companies announcing ingredient overhauls to make ingredient lists more desirable for consumers. Earlier in January, Panera Bread Co. said it has achieved its “no no list” goal first announced in May 2015.