Caribou to go 100% clean label by 2018

by Rebekah Schouten
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Caribou Coffee clean label
Currently, 91% of Caribou Coffee’s beverages are made with 100% clean label ingredients.

MINNEAPOLIS — Caribou Coffee has declared a new clean label standard for its U.S. locations: The company said it will not add artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives, MSG or high-fructose corn syrup to its beverages, and all of its beverages will be made with clean label ingredients by 2018.

Caribou created an “Off-Limit List” of more than 70 ingredients it will not add to its beverages. The list includes such items as high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and aspartame. The entire “Off-Limit List” may be found here.

Currently, 91% of Caribou Coffee’s beverages are made with 100% clean label ingredients, the company said. The remaining 9% — those made with chai, sugar-free chocolate syrup and two toppings — will meet Caribou’s new clean label standard by the end of 2018.

Caribou Coffee clean label
Caribou created an “Off-Limit List” of more than 70 ingredients it will not add to its beverages.

The new clean label standard builds on Caribou Coffee’s clean label commitment announced last year. In January 2016, the chain said it would eliminate artificial flavorings in new and existing menu items throughout the year. By the end of 2016, the coffeehouse converted all of its flavor syrups to a clean label standard, starting with vanilla syrup, which now contains only pure cane sugar, water, natural vanilla flavor and Madagascar vanilla beans extract. In March 2016, the chain introduced a new caramel sauce with simple ingredients.

Caribou Coffee began its clean label journey in 2004, when the company built a kosher and organic-certified coffee roasting and manufacturing facility. In 2006, the company began roasting Rainforest Alliance-Certified coffee beans and achieved 100% Rainforest Alliance beans in 2012. In 2007, the company committed to using only dairy with no added hormones, and in 2010 Caribou switched to real chocolate chips from powdered chocolate.
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