Campbell Soup Company Climbs On Bandwagon, Will Eliminate Artificial Colors And Flavors By 2018

Joining competitors in the packaged food market like General Mills, Nestlé USA, and Kraft and chain restaurants like Subway, Panera, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, Campbell Soup Company announced this week that it will stop using artificial colors and flavors in all of its products sold in North America in 2018.

Food companies have noticed where the public’s taste is headed, and that’s toward products that are all “natural.” As consumers learned when Starbucks briefly switched to a “natural” red food coloring made from red insects and switched back after the Frappuccino-drinking public collectively said “ew,” the sources of those natural colors aren’t always palatable to consumers.

The company recently reorganized itself, attempting to become relevant to consumers. You’re probably more familiar with brands like Pepperidge Farm and SpaghettiOs, but Campbell also owns a few brands in the natural and organic sector, like vegetable and juice company Bolthouse Farms and the baby food brand Plum Organics. They also recently acquired Garden Fresh Gourmet, a company out of Michigan that makes salsa and hummus.

The company is giving itself a few years to find alternatives to current ingredients that don’t meet the “natural” standard, and the deadline they’ve set is the end of the fiscal year in 2018. That’s almost exactly three years from now: be prepared for some of the familiar flavors of your childhood to change. Maybe.

Campbell to Cut Artificial Flavors, Colors by End of 2018 [Bloomberg]