General Mills Inc. said it now plans to remove artificial flavors and colors from all of its cereals by the end of 2017. Currently, more than 60% of its cereals, including Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Original Cheerios, are without artificial flavors and colors, and that should increase to 90% by the end of 2016. Among the first cereals to change going forward include Trix and Reese's Puffs. Trix will use fruit and vegetable juices and spice extracts to achieve its colors, and Reese's Puffs will incorporate vanilla flavor with peanut butter and cocoa to achieve its flavor. "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 recognizable and familiar ingredients on the labels and challenged ourselves to remove barriers that prevent adults and children from enjoying our cereals." General Mills stock was up 0.5% in morning trade. It has climbed 5.8% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.2%.
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