In the June 3rd, 2014 CBS News article Panera will dump all food additives by 2016, Panera Bread has announced that “the chain will eliminate artificial colors, flavors sweeteners and preservatives by the end of 2016″ for all of their food products. One example is that Panera’s “roast beef will lose its caramel color additive”.
Panera Bread’s Director of Societal Impact Initiatives wrote to CBS Money Watch that ” the decision was more of an internal one, rather than prompted by a request from consumers…we believe that removing artificial ingredients is where the world is headed and frankly, we’ve always believed that simpler is better”.
Panera Bread is not alone when it comes to removal of dyes in foods.
2013 was a year of greater consumer awareness of ingredients in popular food products and subsequent outcry to manufacturers to make healthy changes.
The December 17th, 2013 Denver Post Associated Press article “A look at food companies who removed food ingredients” discusses three top food manufacturers: Kraft Foods, Chick-fil-A and Starbucks who took note of their consumers and responded with healthy ingredient changes including the removal of artificial dyes from multiple products in 2013.
Following a 2013 mom-driven campaign that gained national attention Kraft Foods announced that it will replace artificial dyes Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 with natural food color alternatives in three of their pasta products. Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 are both associated with many health concerns particularly in children. For additional information please see MSN Money Discusses Kraft Mac & Cheese and Artificial Dyes: Yellow #5 and Yellow #6.
Chick-fil-A is removing artificial dyes from its sauces, dressings and even their chicken soup.
Starbucks has discontinued the use of cochineal extract in food and beverage products. Cochineal extract is derived from the bodies of crushed beetles and “bugged” many consumers when identified in 2013. For more info please see “Bye Bye Beetle: Starbucks Kicks the Cochineal Beetle from its Ingredient List“.
And consumer push for reduction/ removal of artificial dyes continues as the topic continues to gain attention on a near daily basis through various media coverage as discussed in the December 30th, 2013 New York Times article “Social Media as a Megaphone to Pressure the Food Industry“.
For additional information please see:
Kraft to Remove Artificial Food Dye from 3 Mac and Cheese Products - Huffington Post - Dec 13, 2013
Kraft will remove dye from mac & cheese ; are colorless M&M’s next? – Los Angeles Times – Nov 1, 2013
Getting the dye out: Chick-fil-A cleans up buns and sauces - NBC News.com- Dec 3, 2013