General Mills nixes artificial colors, and cereal will never look the same

Jun 22, 2015 at 12:54 p.m. ET

General Mills announced today that it's making big changes to its cereals.

The company has decided to remove all artificial flavors and colors from its cereals before 2015 is through.

This is great news, especially for those concerned about the potentially harmful health effects of artifical food dyes like Red 40 and Yellow 6. But honestly, the reformulation has me kind of nervous. Especially when it comes to what my family called "weekend cereals" — those carb-y sugar bombs that were deemed inappropriate for school days but which immediately transport me to Saturday morning cartoon time when I treat myself to a bowl as an adult. What if removing the artificiality changes them forever? These are the three I'm most worried about.

1. Trix

trix cereal

Image: frankieleon/Flickr

Trix, that neon-colored fruit cereal that spawned Trix yogurt and other ungodly colorful, sugar-laden breakfast snacks, is going to take quite a hit. Since blue is hard to come by in nature, General Mills is removing the blue puffs from the cereal. And since blue is used to make green, green is going too. So basically we're stuck with red, orange and yellow — at this point, even that freaking rabbit has probably lost interest. At least they're going to try to keep the purple puff in there, thanks to a little help from blueberries.

2. Lucky Charms

lucky charms cereal

Image: Sarah Mahala Photography & Makeup Artistry/Flickr

Is there anything more satisfying than the crunch, then immediate dissolution, of a Lucky Charms marshmallow in your mouth? Or better yet, scavenging all the "healthy" cereal bits from a bowl of Lucky Charms, only to be left with the colorful, soft marshmallows at the end? Well give up on this dream because these beloved, bright 'mallows may be changing. Apparently removing the artificial colors and flavors and replacing them with natural alternatives could forever upset the delicate balance of ingredients that gives us the marshmallows we know and love today. My suggestion? Start hoarding the original formula now.

3. Boo Berry

boo berry cereal

Image: bochalla/Flickr

This Halloween favorite is in serious jeopardy. Its unsettling blue color will be hard to replicate without artificial colors, and apparently the marshmallow recipe is in danger too. Also, it's described as an "artificial berry flavor" frosted cereal, so hopefully they're able to coax the same flavor out of, um, actual berries.

So I'll be crossing my fingers in hopes that, after the reformulation, my favorite dessert-for-breakfast cereals are able to retain the candy-like qualities I so adore. But, uh, good for you for trying to be healthy or whatever, General Mills.

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