Food additives: who is promising what?
Manufacturers and food additives
Food is changing rapidly. In 2015, more than ten major food manufacturers and restaurants made public commitments to reduce or eliminate artificial flavors and colors from their brands. In 2019, virtually every major retailer, chain restaurant, and national food manufacturer is rethinking — and revising — at least the flavors, colors, and preservatives they allow in their foods.
The drivers behind these announcement range from FDA notices to growing public concerns about specific additives and demands for improved transparency.
With so much movement in the marketplace, we decided to keep and make available a tally of the public commitments made by grocers, restaurants and food manufacturers on food additives.
As more companies revisit their policies and practices, EDF is sharing a Blueprint for Safer Food that helps businesses achieve leadership in this space. Building consumer confidence and securing true leadership involves going beyond just what is legal towards policies that promote continuous improvement.
Food packaging may also contain chemicals of concern that can contaminate food although food packaging is not often addressed in public policies. EDF recommends consulting the “Food Packaging Product Stewardship Considerations” published by the Institute of Packaging Professionals in March 2018 for additional information on eliminating or minimizing a long list of chemicals of concern in packaging.
Please let us know if you have any suggestions to improve the list — especially if we have missed a company.
Grocers - national and regional
(in chronological order)
Restaurants – national and regional
Food manufacturers – national
|Products affected||Additives removed or banned||Date of commitment||Effective date|
|Most chocolate brands||Artificial flavors, preservatives and sweeteners||2015||2015|
|Chocolate candy, some beverages, and frozen pizza and snacks||Artificial flavor and colors (chocolate candy), Artificial flavors and colors (some beverages), Artificial flavor (frozen pizza and snacks)||2015 Feb, April, June||2015 December|
|Selected branded foods||Artificial preservatives, ingredients, and flavors||2015 / updated 2017||2017|
|All foods||Artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors from artificial sources||2015 / revised 2016||> 50% as of 2017|
|Select branded cereals, snack foods and frozen foods||Artificial flavors and colors||2015||Ongoing|
|Select key brands and new snack crackers||Artificial flavors and colors||2015||2020|
|Panera at Home|
|Branded packaged foods>||> 100 artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and sweeteners, and other unnecessary ingredients||2016||2016|
|North American products||Artificial flavors and colors||2016||2018|
|All products||Artificial colors||2016||2021|
|Select Consumer Food products||Artificial flavors, synthetic colors and artificial preservatives||2016||Ongoing|