General Mills has announced it will eliminate artificial coloring and flavoring from all of its cereals by 2017. Natural ingredients, such as fruit and vegetable juices, will replace artificial ingredients. The move is in response to growing consumer demand. The company has said it will not pass on the cost for changing up the product formulations to consumers.

The company’s cereal line includes Chex, Lucky Charms, Wheaties and Fiber One. General Mills actually began reformulating some of its products several years ago. Some cereals, such as Trix, will look different, because of the elimination of artificial coloring (in this case, blue and green).

Hadley Malcolm (@hadleypdxdc) writes for USA Today:


“We’ve continued to listen to consumers who want to see more recognizable and familiar ingredients on the labels and challenged ourselves to remove barriers that prevent adults and children from enjoying our cereals,” said Jim Murphy, president of General Mills cereal division, in a statement.


What’s the hardest part for the company?

“… maintaining consistent flavor and texture, according to [Kate] Gallager [a cereal developer]. Natural dyes like turmeric, paprika, and fruit and vegetable concentrates can sometimes impart too much flavor or don’t produce colors that are as bold.”


General Mills must also contend with the Food and Drug’s Administration’s decision to eliminate trans fats in food products by 2018. Popular General Mills’ brands such as Betty Crocker and Pillsbury will certainly require reformulation.


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