Australian supermarket chain Woolworths has announced that it has removed artificial colors, flavors, emulsifiers and preservatives from more than 70 lines of its fresh in-store baked bread, in response to consumers’ demand for more natural products.
The company has removed vegetable emulsifiers 471, 472 and 481, acidity regulator 297 and antioxidant 306 from the fresh bread that is baked in 560 Woolworths stores daily.
With this move, 95% of Woolworths' fresh baked products, or 9.6 million fresh baked products per month, will now be free from artificial colors, flavors, emulsifiers or preservatives.
Woolworths head of bakery Alex Holt said that the customers have provided very clear feedback that they are concerned about additives in their food, so the company has made its in-store baked bread free from these artificial additives.
In an independent study commissioned by Woolworths, consumers said that buying products without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives was more important than seeking products that are free from trans-fats or products that are high in vitamins or antioxidants, the company said.
In recent years, Woolworths took up similar initiatives to help consumers make healthier choices. These include lowering salt from in-store bakery bread, introducing front-of-pack nutritional labelling, and offering full fat breakdown on nutrition information.