Nestle has announced it will be removing all artificial flavors and colors from its chocolate products in the US.
The Swiss food giant’s US unit has promised on February 17 to get rid of artificial flavors and government certified colors in more than 250 chocolates by the end of this year.
The move was prompted by its market research, which showed that US consumers wanted the additives gone.
Nestle will replace the flavors and colors with natural ingredients.
The ingredients from natural sources are certified as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company said.
For example, the centre of its Butterfinger bars will now have annatto, which comes from the seeds found in the fruit from the achiote tree, instead of certified colors Red 40 and Yellow 5, it said in a statement on February 17.
“In CRUNCH, natural vanilla flavor will replace artificial vanillin.”
Nestle is making changes to more than 75 recipes, said health and wellness manager Leslie Mohr, who added that consumer testing had been done on the new recipes.
More than 60% of Americans said the absence of artificial coloring or flavoring was an important factor in their decision to buy food, according to a recent Nielsen survey the company cited.
Nestle is also in the process of removing caramel coloring from its chocolate products.
The new products are expected to be available for sale by the middle of 2016.