MCLEAN, VA. — Mars, Inc. said it will remove all artificial colors from its chocolate, gum, confection, food and drink products over the next five years.
Many of Mars’ products already are free of artificial colors, but the company said it is broadening the scope of the effort across its portfolio in response to a growing demand for ingredients perceived as natural.
"As an example, in the U.S., the F.D.A. has approved Mars’ petition to use Spirulina Extract as a naturally sourced color additive in confectionery and chewing gum," the company said on its website.
Mars has pledged to work closely with its suppliers to find alternatives that meet the quality and safety standards while maintaining the vibrant hues associated with certain products.
|Grant F. Reid, president and c.e.o. of Mars|
“We’re in the business of satisfying and delighting the people who love our products,” said Grant F. Reid, president and chief executive officer of Mars, Inc. “Eliminating all artificial colors from our human food portfolio is a massive undertaking and one that will take time and hard work to accomplish. 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.”Mars said it may use slightly different formulations for products in different markets, based on consumer preferences, ingredient availability and local regulations. The company’s food and drink portfolio features more than 50 brands, including M&M’s, Skittles, Snickers, Twix, Dove and Combos. Mars’ pet food brands will not be included in the efforts.