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Mars Inc. Eliminates Artificial Colors from M&Ms, Skittles, and More

The change will take up to 5 years.

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Your favorite candy is about to get a little bit healthier — or at least less artificial. According to a press release, Mars Inc. plans to nix artificial coloring from all products "made for human consumption." Items that will undergo the big change include gum, chocolate, food, drinks, and confections. In all, the change will affect a total of over 50 products owned by the company. Favorites like M&M's, Wrigley's gum, Skittles, and Snickers will now be free of all artificial coloring — and may never be the same.

While the announcement was made on February 5, it will take at least five years to implement the change. President and CEO Grant F. Reid explains the company's timeline, "Eliminating all artificial colors from our human food portfolio is a massive undertaking, and one that will take time and hard work to accomplish." As part of the process, Mars will partner with suppliers to find natural alternatives to maintain the candy's vibrant colors.

He went on to further explain the reason for the change, "Our consumers are the boss and we hear them. If it's the right thing to do for them, it's the right thing to do for Mars." While many of the company's products are already free of artificial colors, and the company claims that those that include them use safe ingredients, Mars's announcement was motivated by a call from consumers for manufacturers to make foods with more natural ingredients. Mars isn't the first company to announce such a change: Campbell's SoupNestle, and Kellogg's all announced similar measures last year.

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