Following the anti-artificial trend like its fellow food giants (see: Nestle, Pepsi, Hershey’s, Panera, Chipotle), General Mills has made a bold move. The company recently announced that it will remove artificial colors and flavors from all of its cereals.
The goal for General Mills is to cut out fake ingredients in 90 percent of its brightly-colored and no-doubt sugary cereals like Trix and Reese’s Puffs by the end of 2016, but the breakfast with the pot of gold will need until at least 2017 to make the transition. The reason the “magically delicious” Lucky Charms are slower going? Though the plan for Trix is to swap out artificial colors with spice mixes (such as turmeric for yellow) and fruit juices for purple and red, the rainbow-colored sugary puffs in Lucky Charms are a challenge, taking longer to reformulate sans food dye. One of the company’s cereal developers, Kate Gallager, explained that marshmallows have a complex makeup whose taste, texture, and appearance can be easily impacted by making changes.
According to a representative for General Mills, the first wave of artificial-free boxes have arrived on store shelves this week. The new and improved cereals include Trix, Reese’s Puffs, Cocoa Puffs, Golden Grahams, Chocolate Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, and Fruity Cheerios. This means these flavors are free of high fructose corn syrup, colors from artificial sources, and artificial flavors.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Trix, before and after the recipe overhaul:
However, if you’re a fan of the rainbow-colored marsh mallows in Lucky Charms and the crunchy chocolate-peanut butter Reese’s Puffs, you might have to wait as long as 11 more months for their all-natural iterations to launch because their recipes are trickier to recreate using only real ingredients. Hmm. We’ll leave you to think that one over on your own.
Expect to find the retooled Trix and Reese’s Puffs—which will also be made with natural vanilla instead of the imitation stuff—on grocery shelves nationwide as early as wintertime. Lucky Charms doesn’t have a stock date in sight, so fans of the charming cereal will need a bit more luck to see artificial-free boxes anytime soon.