General Mills plans for its remaining 40% of cereal to join the likes of Cheerios as free from artificial colours and flavours

General Mills plans for its remaining 40% of cereal to join the likes of Cheerios as free from artificial colours and flavours

General Mills has said it will remove 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.

The company said the shift reflected "consumers' changing preferences" in the US. A General Mills commissioned survey, conducted by Nielsen, found 49% of US households are "making an effort" to avoid flavourings and colourings from artificial sources.

General Mills said it will use "more recognisable familiar ingredients" to create its colours.

"At General Mills Cereals, we have been upgrading the nutrition and ingredients in our cereals for years to meet people's needs and desires," said Jim Murphy, president of the General Mills cereal division. "We've continued to listen to consumers who want to see more recognisable and familiar ingredients on the labels and challenged ourselves to remove barriers that prevent adults and children from enjoying our cereals."