Loblaws removing artificial colours and flavouring from PC products

In response to a consumer shift towards healthier eating, Loblaws has announced that they will be removing all artificial colours and flavouring from their President's Choice line of products.

All artificial colours will be removed by the end of this year, and all artificial flavours will be phased out by the end of 2013.

"We are focused on food and committed to taking the lead on those issues of importance to Canadians. We're also thinking more strategically about corporate social responsibility and the areas in which Loblaw can have the greatest impact," says Ian Gordon, senior vice president of Loblaw Companies Limited.

Galen G. Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw Cos. Ltd., made the announcement at the company's annual general meeting Thursday, reports the Globe and Mail.

According to Health Canada, food labels are required to declare whether or not a product contains artificial flavouring, in both official languages. Artificial colourings are a bit of a grey area, with the CBC reporting in 2010 that Health Canada says labels should be clearer but legislation hasn't changed as of yet — although many manufacturers already voluntarily list these ingredients.

The move makes Canada's biggest grocer the first in the country to take such wide-spread action on the issue.

"With an increased focus on health and wellness, we take our role in empowering customers to make healthier choices and lead healthier lifestyles very seriously and one of the best places to start is by making sure that our own portfolio of products is the best that it can be," says Gordon.

PC products that will change include the Blue Menu, Organics and Green lines. The company's No Name brand will not be affected.

The President's Choice Zoo Animals in the image above are just one example of a newly formulated product containing no artificial colours or flavours.

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