£30 million earmarked for change
Emily Seares. 15.04.07

Asda to axe artificial colours and flavours from own-label

£30 million earmarked for change

Asda has pledged to remove artificial colours and flavours from all its own-brand products by the end of the year, becoming the first UK grocer to offer such a guarantee.

The grocer also said it will invest more than£30 million in reformulating products to ensure taste is not affected.

None of Asda's 9,000 own-brand food and soft drink products will contain any artificial colours or flavours, aspartame and hydrogenated fat or flavour enhancers, such as monosodium glutamate. The additives will be removed completely or, where necessary, replaced with natural colours and fruit and vegetable extracts.

Vanilla, which is sourced naturally, will replace the artificially produced Vanillin - commonly used in chocolate products. Aspartame will also be replaced with Sucralose, a sweetener made from sugar that tastes like sugar.

All own-brand product ranges will also meet or exceed the Food Standard Agency's salt targets, more than two years ahead of its 2010 deadline, following the removal of 156 tonnes of salt this year alone.

Asda food trading director Darren Blackhurst said: 'We know that our customers, particularly those that are mums and dads, are becoming more concerned about what's in the food that they buy. We want to make life easier and healthier for them by stripping out nasties from all our own label food and soft drinks.'