Monday, September 8, 2008

Response from Kraft

I received a somewhat generic company statement from Kraft in response to my request for naturally colored products. Here is what I sent back:

Thank you for acknowledging my request. However, I would like to point out a few things to you. Your Pillsbury frosting sometimes list red #40 and yellow #5 and sometimes indicate "artificial coloring" on the ingredient list. I'd like clarification as to what kind of coloring that really is, otherwise, I won't be buying it. I will add it to the other Kraft products that I no longer buy due to food coloring.

I may seem like one insignificant consumer, but I've already affected the buying habits of at least 20 families, and they are now telling their friends and families about the risks of food dyes. We are amazed that every family who has tried eliminating artificial coloring has found it to be hugely beneficial. I suspect this effect is not well represented in research because of how difficult it is to truly eliminate all coloring from a child's diet, thus, only the very diligent parent is able to see the true difference. Despite that, recent research does show food coloring to be problematic.

I also understand that Lunchables are currently being sold in Britain without artificial food coloring due to that country's demand for naturally colored products. I would like to see the same type of products available here in the US as it sounds like you are already manufacturing them. I would like to assert that more and more consumers are finding artificial colors to be detrimental to their children. I found the following comment to be very insulting to the intelligence of the American people:
"Consumers expect food to look, smell and taste good and without added color many foods would appear unappetizing and would be rejected by many consumers without regard to nutritional value."

While I understand this to be sadly true about many consumers, I hope you will consider that there is considerable movement among parents to improve the quality of our children's diets. If you want us to continue shopping for better products at high priced health food stores, we will do so. However, you may be surprised that more and more people are changing their shopping habits and we hope Kraft will pay attention to our desire for better products without all the dyes.

Laurie Hoff

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