Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are the latest fast food establishments to announce that they will halt using artificial ingredients and colourings in their food and join the additive-free revolution. Established food industry players are attempting to change their greasy image in exchange for a fresh and healthy alternative to compete with newer establishments promising good food severed fast.
Spokespersons for Taco Bell and Pizza Hut state that customers are more curious and interested about their food than ever before. Is this the real motivation behind the ingredient changes? While healthier alternatives (i.e. Freshii, Cultures, etc.) offer low sodium, calorie, and fat options, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are simply removing artificial ingredients from their items. For instance, Taco Bell will be replacing black pepper flavour with actual black pepper.
Fast food chains are facing pressure to position themselves as being healthier and wholesome. But are these establishments more concerned with serving up nutritious meals or simply removing the worst of their ingredients that may bring harm to their brand image? It appears that Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are doing the latter. Real food is not always nutritious food, and Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are proving this by rushing to remove artificial ingredients to avoid brand damaging headlines. Subway Restaurants recently learned this lesson the hard way when it was uncovered that their bread contained azodicarbonamide – the same chemical found in yoga mats. A real food revolution would see truly health conscious changes being made to menu items, rather than artificial ones engineered to curb negative headlines.