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US: Now Kellogg joins the ‘free-from’ queue

In the latest bid for customers looking for healthier options, the world’s largest cereal maker has joined a growing number of food manufacturers eliminating artificial ingredients.

The more than 100-year-old company plans to discontinue use of artificial ingredients in its cereals and other products by 2018, said Paul Norman, the president of Kellogg North America.

“We have been working to remove artificial colours and flavours across Kellogg’s branded cereals and a variety of Kellogg’s branded snack bars as well as Eggo frozen foods,” he said in a transcript released of the call. “Our goal is to complete this transition by the end of 2018.”

Right now, half of all cereals produced for North America by Kellogg are made without artificial flavours and 75% are made without artificial colours, according to Norman.

The company made several changes in the past year to appeal to customers concerned about ingredients and health, such as releasing reduced-sugar Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks and launching a line of mueslis and granolas with simpler ingredients, Norman said.

“We know consumers are looking for foods with simpler ingredients and we’re excited about our efforts to offer consumers more in this space,” Kris Charles, Kellogg Company spokeswoman, said.

Kellogg is the latest in a string of companies that have announced plans to remove artificial ingredients from products, including restaurant chains Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Subway and Panera. In June, Kellogg’s key competitor, General Mills, announced it would phase out all artificial ingredients in its cereal products by 2017.

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