That’s right, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are going to remove all artificial flavors and colors by the end of the year.
Liz Matthews, the chain’s chief food innovation officer further explained what exactly this means to the AP.
Instead of “black pepper flavor,” for instance, Taco Bell will start using actual black pepper in its seasoned beef, says Liz Matthews, the chain’s chief food innovation officer.
The Mexican-style chain also says the artificial dye Yellow No. 6 will be removed from its nacho cheese, Blue No. 1 will be removed from its avocado ranch dressing and carmine, a bright pigment, will be removed from its red tortilla strips.
First off, they weren’t using actual black pepper? Mind blown! But what this really means is that the company is taking out the artificial additives that are starting to scare consumers away from fast food chains, without actually making their food any more nutritional whatsoever.
The country’s biggest food makers are facing pressure from smaller rivals that position themselves as more wholesome alternatives. Chipotle in particular has found success in marketing itself as an antidote to traditional fast food. In April, Chipotle announced it had removed genetically modified organisms from its food, even though the Food and Drug Administration says GMOs are safe.
What a coincidence. Wildly successful Chipotle goes GMO free and now Yum! Brands, the company that owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, wants to remove all artificial ingredients. Interesting.
Taco Bell says it will take out artificial colors, artificial flavors, high-fructose corn syrup and unsustainable palm oil from its food by the end of 2015. It says artificial preservatives will be removed “where possible” by 2017. The moves do not affect fountain drinks or co-branded products, such as its Doritos-flavored taco shells.
So even though the company will be removing any artificial additives, they won’t remove them from any of the products they don’t make, you know, like the wildly popular Doritos taco shells, or ALL THE FOUNTAIN DRINKS!
Personally, this seems like a small but meaningless gesture on the part of Yum! Brands to trick the public into thinking their foods are healthier than they really are. Or maybe - possibly - it’s the first step in the right direction towards serving more natural food. What do you think?