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General Mills Is Ditching Artificial Colors and Flavors

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Its products should be free of unnatural ingredients by the end of 2017.

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Good news cereal fans: General Mills is getting rid of all artificial flavors and colors from its cereals by 2017. According to a press release, 90 percent of all of the company's cereals will be free of the unsavory ingredients as soon as the end of 2016.  The company will use fruit and vegetables juices, as well as spice extracts, to achieve the bright colors found in cereals like Trix. Other cereals like Reese's Puffs will incorporate natural vanilla instead of the artificial stuff. General Mills emphasizes that the flavors of the cereals will remain the same.

While the revamped versions of Trix and Reese's Puffs will hit shelves as soon as this winter, there will be a longer wait time for Lucky Charms fans. Kate Gallagher — General Mills' cereal developer — notes: "We have a lot of hard work ahead of us and we know some products will present challenges... Cereals that contain marshmallows like Lucky Charms, may take longer."

A number of companies and restaurants have pledged to remove artificial ingredients recently. Nestlé announced in February that it would eliminate fake flavors and colors like "Red 40" and "Yellow 5" from over 250 foods by the end of 2015. Just months later, Panera BreadTaco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Subway all announced that they too would drop artificial ingredients in the next couple of years.

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