Gen­eral Mills al­ter­ing ce­re­als

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By Sa­man­tha Ma­sunaga Twit­ter: @ sma­sunaga

Brightly col­ored Trix ce­real might look a bit dif­fer­ent this win­ter.

Gen­eral Mills, which makes Trix, Lucky Charms and Chee­rios, said Mon­day it plans to re­move ar­ti­fi­cial col­ors and f la­vors from all of its ce­re­als by the end of 2017.

The com­pany said more than 60% of its ce­re­als, in­clud­ing Cin­na­mon Toast Crunch and orig­i­nal Chee­rios, do not have ar­ti­fi­cial f la­vors or col­ors.

The Min­neapo­lis com­pany is the latest in a slew of other food man­u­fac­tur­ers and res­tau­rant chains pledg­ing to use more nat­u­ral al­ter­na­tives in their prod­ucts in re­sponse to chang­ing con­sumer tastes.

Ac­cord­ing to a Nielsen sur­vey con­ducted on be­half of Gen­eral Mills, 49% of house­holds are try­ing to avoid ar­ti­fi­cial f la­vors and col­ors.

“With ce­real be­ing in 90% of house­holds to­day, we want to make changes like this so it will be on ta­bles for the next 100 years,” said Lau­ren Prad­han, well­ness man­ager for the ce­real di­vi­sion at Gen­eral Mills.

Trix and Reese’s Puffs will be two of the first ce­re­als to change, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

The com­pany said it will use in­gre­di­ents such as fruit and veg­etable juices, along with spice ex­tracts such as turmeric and an­natto, in­stead of red 40 and yel­low 6.

The up­dated Trix also will be lim­ited to four col­ors: red, yel­low, or­ange and pur­ple, which is sim­i­lar to the orig­i­nal recipe launched years ago, Prad­han said. The com­pany did not f ind a suit­able re­place­ment for the blue and green col­ors now in the ce­real, but it will con­tinue to work on those f la­vors af­ter the launch, she said.

The look of Reese’s Puffs will change lit­tle, Prad­han said. In­stead of ar­ti­fi­cial vanilla, the ce­real will use nat­u­ral vanilla for f la­vor­ing as part of the peanut but­ter and cho­co­late ce­real med­ley.

Ce­real en­thu­si­asts can ex­pect to see these up­dated prod­ucts on shelves in Jan­uary.

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