Courtesy of General Mills

General Mills is putting Trix's classic artificial colors and flavors back on shelves after a fan backlash.

Mike Pomranz
September 22, 2017

In recent years, the health food crowd has been actively working to rid many well-known food brands of any artificial ingredients. In theory, simplifying a recipe can make a food better for you. But what often gets lost in the discussion is that those ingredients were likely in there for some reason. And as long as that artificial ingredient is safe, maybe consumers would prefer to have it doing whatever it is that it does? It's a lesson General Mills, the maker of Trix, has recently taken to heart. After assuming customers wanted a more natural version of the children's cereal, a backlash from Trix fans has led the company to once again put the artificial colors and flavors back in.

This Trix saga began back in 2015 when General Mills—jumping in on the same trend as many other food manufacturers—promised to ax artificial flavors and colors from its cereals by 2017. The decision seemed sensible enough—that is, until a very un-social media-friendly version of the cereal started landing in people bowls last year featuring colors that were more "muted maroon" than "raspberry red." As one particularly pointed tweet read, "what the hell is this I bought trix not this bullshit."

At the time, last July, General Mills tried to play it off like nothing was wrong: "We actually have some data, and I'm happy to report sales are great," the company's technology director Erika B. Smith stated. But apparently, the company has acquiesced. Yesterday, General Mills tweeted, "Have you heard?! 'Classic Trix' colors are coming back to brighten up your breakfast bowl!"

Yes, in a move reminiscent of "Classic Coca-Cola" in the 1980s, General Mills is bringing back "Classic Trix" alongside the current artificial ingredient-free version. "Consumers have differing food preferences, and we heard from many Trix fans that they missed the bright vibrant colors and the nostalgic taste of the classic Trix cereal," the company stated. Meanwhile, General Mills told CNBC that it was keeping the more natural Trix around because it "has its own fan base." Still, it'll be interesting to see how long these two versions of Trix stand side-by-side at the supermarket. Keep in mind, you used to be able to buy both New Coke and Classic Coke, but now only one remains.