Blogs & Comment

Winners & Losers: Nestlé goes au naturel and Krispy Kreme kroaks

“Krispy Kreme Klub“ fails to catch on, thankfully

▲ Nestlé

Smarties are practically vitamins now

Fun-size butterfinger bars

When you eat a Butterfinger chocolate bar in the near future (don’t lie to yourself; you know you will) rest easy knowing you’re getting only the best natural ingredients with your 17 grams of fat and 29 grams of sugar. Swiss company Nestlé announced plans to remove artificial flavours from its candy products, the first major firm of its kind to do so in the U.S. (A day later, Hershey said it would start using more natural ingredients in its products, too.) Specifically, Nestlé will stop adding food colouring like Red 40 and Yellow 5. And instead of vanillin, a vanilla extract, the company will use actual vanilla. The move comes as most food companies are finding ways to use healthier ingredients to satisfy changing consumer tastes. Nestlé accounts for just under 5% of the U.S. chocolate candy market, far behind Mars and Hershey, and this move could give it an edge. For example, a Nielsen study found 60% of Americans say the absence of artificial flavours and colours is important when deciding which foods to buy. At Nestlé, the change is expected to affect 250 different products. It comes at a cost, too, but the company promises it won’t raise prices. Natural ingredients aren’t entirely new for Nestlé, either. Wonka Randoms, a gummy candy it released last year, is already made with natural ingredients, including glucose syrup, fructose syrup, and lactic acid—which is surely the next kale.

▼ Krispy Kreme

“White-Supremacy Wednesdays” didn’t have the same ring to it

Krispy Kreme doughnut box

It may have gone down like this: A hapless Krispy Kreme franchise partner in the sleepy city of Hull, England was recently brainstorming ideas for a series of promotional events. The children of Hull were on break from school, so it was the perfect time to entice them to the local Krispy Kreme to sample its confections. The franchisee came up with a theme for each day of the week. Monday was easy: Funday Monday. Haha, delightful, the franchisee thought. The next day would be Colouring Tuesday. How the children love to colour! The franchisee was stumped on Wednesday, however. Hmm. What could be done about Wednesday? The idea then struck the franchisee in a flash: the children could join a club—the Krispy Kreme Klub!— and decorate their own doughnuts. Yes, the event would be called KKK Wednesday. Brilliant. A Facebook picture promoting the event went up to the franchise’s Facebook page, soliciting the rosy-cheeked children of Hull to join the KKK. Soon, the more worldly visitors to the Hull Krispy Kreme Facebook page recognized that “KKK” is more commonly associated with the Ku Klux Klan, and expressed their shock and confusion. The parent company, not wanting Krispy Kreme to be misconstrued as the doughnut of choice for torch-wielding racists everywhere, immediately apologized. “We do believe this was a completely unintentional oversight on the part of our longtime franchise partners in the UK,” said a spokesperson. “They have taken quick and appropriate actions to remove the materials.” There is no word on what replaced KKK Wednesday.