The Consumerist reports that Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins on Thursday became the latest chains to join the growing list of restaurants and food producers promising to remove artificial flavors and dyes from its menus.
Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of the two chains, announced that it would remove artificial colors from its food and beverage products in the U.S and replace them with naturally sourced colorings by the end of 2018.
The announcement is two years in the making for Dunkin’ Brands, which began a comprehensive menu review that resulted in a new product development process in 2014.
The changes will affect nearly every product sold by the two companies, including icing, fillings, frozen beverages, ice cream, as well as the quarts and pints of Baskin Robbins ice cream sold at retail locations.
However, there will be a few exceptions, Dunkin’ Brands notes, such as products that are supplier-branded.
Additionally, Baskin-Robbins will take a longer period of time to find replacements for the decorative elements on its ice cream cakes, the company says.
“This is a significant undertaking on the part of our product development teams and suppliers,” Dunkin’ Brands Chairman and CEO Nigel Travis said in a statement. “However, we are committed to meet the evolving needs of our customers, including their preference for more nutritional transparency and simpler ingredients, while maintaining the great taste and the fun, vibrant colors expected from Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins products.”
Thursday’s announcement was met with approval by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, one of several groups calling on fast food chains to use fewer artificial ingredients. The nonprofit acknowledges that getting rid of artificial colors doesn’t actually make donuts or ice cream any healthier, but said it’s nonetheless a “commendable step in the right direction.”