Two of the most iconic brands of the great American cereal kaleidoscope, Lucky Charms and Trix, are both getting reformulated in the coming year by cereal-maker General Mills. As the company announced via its blog, this is all part of a vaguely health-conscious company decision to remove all artificial colors and flavors from their cereals, including Reese's Puffs and Chocolate Lucky Charms even though there's no intention of lowering the sugar content in any of these, which to some might seem to be more the more essential health concern.
The company of course doesn't want to change things too drastically, given peoples' brand loyalties and longtime favorites, but they admit that in making this decision, some cereals will "look a bit different" after the transition to natural plant- and spice-extract based dyes.
As USA Today reports, the reformulated version of Trix will roll out this winter looking especially different, because instead of six different colors of crunchy, sugary flavored balls, it will become a four-color cereal natural equivalents for the blue and green colorings couldn't be created.
It's not yet clear which of the Lucky Charms marshmallows might have to get nixed for the same reason.
In other cases like the very brown and beige Reese's Puffs, which was artificially colored for no apparent reason, will not look noticeably different at all but will still pack in 10 grams of sugar and 160 mg of sodium in every 3/4 cup serving. (And who eats less than a cup of cereal at a time?) Lucky Charms, by comparison, has 14 grams of sugar and 238 mg of sodium per one-cup serving.
Jim Murphy, president of the company's cereal division, says, "We’re simply listening to consumers and these ingredients are not what people are looking for in their cereal today." Also, he says, "We have the best people in the industry to make this happen in a way that the consumer is going to come out at the other end not only liking the taste of the product but liking it even more because it doesn't have all the artificial stuff in it."
General Mills already brags that artificial ingredients have already been stripped out of 60 percent of their cereal line, which also includes things like Cheerios, Wheaties, Fiber One, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Chex.