Papa John’s Is Eliminating All Artificial Flavors, Synthetic Colors From Its Menu

Now that the anti-everything-artificial train has left the station, it is showing no signs of stopping: Papa John’s says it’s the first pizza chain to eliminate all artificial flavors and synthetic colors from its entire menu.

The announcement comes a few weeks after the chain promised to go antibiotic-free for its chicken toppings and poppers. Unlike removing antibiotics from food, however, eliminating artificial ingredients is more about appealing to consumers’ changing preferences than it is about health.

The change will apply to all pizza ingredients, pizza toppings, dessert items, and sauce selections, Papa John’s said in a statement Tuesday.

“We closed out 2015 announcing our commitment to serve chicken raised without antibiotics and are ringing in the New Year artificial-flavor and synthetic-color free,” said Sean Muldoon, Papa John’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development. “We’re so proud to be able to show our customers how much we care about what they’re eating. This exemplifies Papa John’s continued efforts to deliver high-quality products. It’s the right thing to do.”

The company says the elimination of artificial flavors and synthetic colors is effective as of now, while chicken toppings and poppers will be antibiotic-free by the summer.

Papa John’s is just the latest food company to hop on the anti-artificial train: Panera just announced it’s removed all artificial ingredients from its entire soup menu; Pepsi is planning an organic Gatorade; Hershey is ditching artificial flavors from some chocolate products; Campbell’s changed its chicken noodle soup recipe to do away with artificial flavors; and Schwan is eliminating artificial flavors and ingredients by 2017, just to name a few.

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