Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ: DNKN) has just announced that both its Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins businesses will be discontinuing the use of artificial coloring for its food offerings. Synthetic colors are expected to be eliminated from its food and beverages by 2018. This is in response to the American restaurant holdings company's desire for simpler ingredients and greater nutritional transparency. 

Dunkin' Donuts Menu Nutrition

"We are pleased to announce our plans to eliminate artificial color's from our menus in the U.S. by the end of 2018," Dunkin' Brands Chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Nigel Travis confirmed in a recent statement. Travis had also said that while it is a "significant undertaking" for both its suppliers and development teams, the move is necessary to meet its customers changing tastes and needs. 

The company's plans to remove synthetic colors from its product is part of a product development process that began in 2014. The goal had been to reformulate its products in order to enhance its quality by lowering both sodium and sugar content while simplifying the ingredient labels. 

Dunkin' Donuts And Baskin-Robbins are going all natural with its food and beverages

As a result, Dunkin' Donuts will only use colors from natural sources when it comes to its donut icings, fillings and toppings. At the same time, the company has said it will do the same when it came to its Fruit Smoothies, COOLATTA frozen drinks, coffee flavorings, baked goods and breakfast sandwiches. 

Meanwhile, Baskin-Robbins has also said it will remove synthetic colors from the ice cream it serves in its restaurants and retail locations. The same changes will also be done to its syrups, sprinkles, sauces and various beverages, including the Cappuccino Blast. The ice cream specialty shop chain has also said it looks to make changes to the decorative elements of its ice cream cakes, however, it is expected to take more time. It also said there will be exceptions when it comes to various supplier-branded ingredients that are being produced by other companies and used as toppings. 

The harmful effects of food coloring has been documented for years

Back in 2010, the Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) had released a statement that various food dyes pose several health risks to consumers. Among them, Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 were found to be contaminated with known carcinogens. Meanwhile, Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 are known to cause several allergic reactions. Moreover, Red 3 has also be found to "induce cancer."  

"These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody," CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson had stated in a 58-page report on food dyes and its associated health risks.  The organization has since said that such food dyes must be banned from various food and beverage products.

What do you think of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins removing artificial coloring from its foods and beverages? Let us know in the comments section below.