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nestle candy bars

Some sweet news came out of Nestlé USA earlier this week for chocoholics and health-food advocates alike.

The company announced it will became the first major U.S. candy manufacturer to remove artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of the year.

Doreen Ida, president of Nestlé USA Confections and Snacks, says the decision was made based on company market research, as well as a Nielsen’s 2014 Global Health and Wellness Survey, which showed that 60 percent of Americans indicated that the inclusion of artificial colors and flavors in products impacted their food-buying decisions.

“We know that candy consumers are interested in broader food trends around fewer artificial ingredients,” Ida said in the company’s press release. “As we thought about what this means for our candy brands, our first step has been to remove artificial flavors and colors without affecting taste or increasing the price. We’re excited to be the first major U.S. candy manufacturer to make this commitment.”

The move impacts more than 250 products and 10 brands, including the iconic Butterfinger, Nestlé Crunch, and Baby Ruth candy bars, as well as all newly launched chocolate and non-chocolate candy products.

According to the company’s press release, artificial flavors and colors will be replaced with ingredients from natural sources. The “crispety, crunchety” Butterfinger, for example, will feature annatto — seeds found in the fruit from the achiote tree — instead of the food dyes, Red 40, and Yellow 5.

Consumers will begin seeing the revamped products on shelves in mid-2015, with packaging that clearly states “no artificial flavors or colors.”

Nestlé USA is also looking into the removal of caramel coloring from its chocolate products.

Read more about artificial food colorings and food additives in our archives:

10 Things You Need to Know About Food Dyes

The Truth About Artificial Food Colorings

What Makes a “Shamrock Shake” Green?

Secret Ingredients

Revealing Ingredients

TELL US: What do you think about Nestlé’s decision? What other companies or brands would you like to see follow suit?

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