Candy Giant Nestlé Is Going All-Natural This Year

By Chris Mah |
FWX NESTLE ARTIFICIAL COLORING

© studiomode / Alamy

If your next Baby Ruth bar looks or tastes a little differently, there’s a reason: Candy giant Nestlé just committed to phasing out artificial flavoring and coloring in most of its flagship candy and chocolate by the end of 2015. In a press release posted on the company’s website earlier this week, Nestlé announced its plans to begin replacing artificial ingredients—like oft-villainized food dyes Red 40 and Yellow 5—with natural replacements such as natural vanilla and annatto, a natural coloring agent made from achiote tree seeds. In addition to Baby Ruth, well-loved brands such as Butterfingers, Rainsinets, Goobers, 100 Grand, Oh Henry and the flagship Nestlé Crunch will all receive recipe makeovers, as well as new labels marked with a “No Artificial Flavors or Colors” claim front and center on their packaging. Nestlé is making the change in response to its own market research that shows growing consumer concerns about the long-term health effects of artificial ingredients and increasing demand for products made from more natural ingredients. At least one other chocolate manufacturer took notice, as Hershey quickly responded by releasing its own statement on Wednesday. It was short on specifics, but Nestlé’s fellow chocolate giant said it plans to begin using “simpler ingredients” in their treats. Whether that means we’ll actually be able to pronounce them all remains to be seen.

Nestlé’s revamped candy bars are scheduled to hit grocery store shelves in mid-2015, with the goal of a complete transition by the end of the year. They’ll still have the same amount of sugar and fat, though, so sorry, candy lovers, they still don’t count as a healthy snack.

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