Recent studies have suggested additives and food colourings contribute to hyperactivity in children, and parents are becoming increasingly concerned for the additives their children are consuming. The FSA today released a report suggesting the elimination of additives from the diets of hyperactive children or those with ADHD in order to improve their behaviour. The report was based upon a study commissioned by the Committee of Toxicology and published in The Lancet, which showed certain mixtures of artificial food colours, alongside sodium benzoate, a preservative used in ice cream and confectionery, were linked to increases in hyperactivity. Food companies are readily looking at ways of using more natural ingredients in order to appeal to the growing demand for additive less food under apprehension over the 'E'-number. "Responding to the growing market trend for permissibility in confectionery, Milkybar is the first major kids' chocolate brand to make the move to all natural ingredients," Nestle UK said. Nestle have already removed colourings and additives from several brands over the past few years including Smarties and Rowntree's, as well as increasing the level of real fruit juice in the Fruit Pastille, Fruit Gums and Jelly Tots brands to 25 per cent in June this year. The products will be manufactured with all natural ingredients from this month, and will be launched in a £6m (€8.9m) campaign, which is due to run from October 2007 to December 2008. The company have also changed the Milkybar packaging in order to highlight the product ingredients. "Now, with all natural ingredients, mums will be even more confident in choosing it for their children," said Graham Walker, trade communications manager for Nestle UK.
The Milkybar range is worth £49.5m (€73.1m) in the UK, and is "the UK's number one kids' chocolate brand", according to Nestle.