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Trix Cereal Returns to Artificial Colors

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

Sep 29, 2017

Trix cereal, the colorful breakfast brand from General Mills, Minneapolis, is up to its old tricks: it will once again be made with artificial dyes and flavors, nearly two years after their removal from the cereal. The company says it's bringing back the original version of the popular product after customers took to social media to criticize the decision to start selling "all-natural" Trix last year, with colorants incorporating radishes and purple carrots.

The food maker said the original Trix, well known for its iconic, "silly rabbit" mascot, will return to supermarket shelves in October, but the company will also continue to sell the version without artificial colors and flavors, according to a report in Fortune. Though the move should appease unhappy customers, it marks an about-face from a pledge two years ago by General Mills to remove artificial colors and flavors from its cereals.

"We heard from many Trix fans that they missed the bright vibrant colors and the nostalgic taste of the classic Trix cereal," said General Mills spokesperson Mike Siemienas, explaining the change, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

In 2016, General Mills switched to using natural sources in Trix for color, such as turmeric, strawberries and radishes. Its hope was that the change would appeal to parents who are increasingly concerned about what ingredients are in their food. But the cereal lost its famous neon colors, and the blue and green pieces had to go because the company couldn't find natural replacements.

General Mills Inc. said it's also working to bring back another fan favorite: Trix made in shapes of fruits, which it stopped selling a decade ago to return to round pieces.

The company pointed out roughly 90 percent of its cereals, including Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs and Golden Grahams, are still made with no artificial flavors or colors. The news illustrates how difficult it can be to meet consumer desires for healthier items with what they actually buy.