Minneapolis, MN – After the company stated in June that it is eliminating artificial flavors and colors from its cereals, General Mills has followed it up by announcing that it will be eliminate artificial flavors and colors from all products in its fruit-flavored snacks category, according to the company.

To date, more than 20% of the company’s fruit-flavored snacks are free from artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources. The rest of the line, including Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Gushers, are expected to join the list by the end of 2017. The company claims that it will take the necessary time to “ensure the snack recipes will still taste delicious.”

Example of new packaging once the artificial flavors and colors are removed.

“General Mills believes this is a potential motivator for the category as research shows more than 50% of lapsed category users and current category user would be more likely to purchase fruit flavored snacks if they had natural colors and flavors,” the company says in a statement.

In January 2016, some of the products, including Scooby-Doo and SpongeBob, will be sold in stores with the new changes. By March 2016, the company expects all of its Betty Crooker fruit-flavored shapes to have the chaneges also.

Instead of announcing this in June when they made the decision regarding their cereals, General Mills thought it was best to wait for a later date.

“Throughout all of our brands, we continually make changes to the recipes to meet consumers’ changing needs,” says Jacquie Klein, senior marketing manager, fruit flavored snacks. “Our fruit flavored snacks recipes changes were not ready to be announced in June.

The company says it plans to have more than 90% of its cereals free from artificial flavors and colors by the end of 2016.

Published on WholeFoods Magazine, 8/27/15