Thursday, May 28, 2015

Moving Away From Chemical Food

Integrity in food ingredients is becoming a trend, with even Taco Bell saying the reliance on chemicals has gone too far. Taco Bell says it will remove artificial colors and some trans fats this year and will take out some other chemical ingredients over the next two years. Pizza Hut says it can make the same transition a little faster. These announcements follow similar announcements last month from processed-food manufacturers Nestlé and Kraft, which will remove artificial colors and flavors from high-profile products first. Hershey, Panera, and Dunkin’ Donuts are part of this trend too. For Hershey’s this is a change in direction after investing heavily in synthetic fat PGPR as a key ingredient in its chocolate during the last three years. Chipotle is already ahead of this entire pack, but now says it does not need to rely on ingredients from animals fed genetically modified food.

All these food names are trying to catch up with the changing tastes of the U.S. consumer, which started on a long-term move away from chemical-based foods a generation ago. We have seen this kind of trend before, with the low-fat fad that changed all of processed food in the 1980s, so it is easy to imagine that the move away from purified chemicals could sweep over the whole processed-food industry.