General Mills sets target for fruit-flavoured snacks

General Mills sets target for fruit-flavoured snacks

General Mills is targeting the removal of artificial flavours and colours from its fruit-flavoured snacks on sale in the US by the end of 2017.

The US food giant said "roughly 20% of the snacks were already made without the ingredients and it set out plans for further work on the range.

"Our character equity shapes products, such as Scooby-Doo fruit-flavoured snacks, will be next to be free of artificial flavours and colours from artificial sources and 100% of the shapes portfolio will be in market by early 2016. Our goal is to have the rest of our products - Fruit Roll Up, Fruit by the Foot, and Fruit Gushers - completed by the end of 2017," Jacquie Klein, senior marketing manager for fruit-flavoured snacks at General Mills, said.

"We think that this is a big potential motivator for our fruit-flavoured snacks and that the change to our entire portfolio will make our products even better and continue to deliver what people want in their snacks. We continue to listen to what people want and our research shows this could be an opportunity to better meet people's needs."

In June, General Mills said it would eliminate artificial colours and flavours from its remaining cereal lines in the US.

More than 60% of General Mills' cereals on sale in the US are free from artificial additives. The US cereal aims to have removed artificial colours and flavours from 90% of its cereal portfolio by the end of 2016.

General Mills is one of a number of major US food groups to announce plans to remove artificial ingredients.

Earlier this month, Kellogg said it would pull artificial colours and flavours from its branded cereals in North America.

Campbell Soup Co. said it would remove artificial colours and flavours from its North American portfolio by the end of 2018. It is also cutting high fructose corn syrup from a number of items in fiscal 2017.

Nestle's US arm has also announced measures this year on artificial ingredients in pizzas and confectionery.