When you are a child, candy is your currency. You dream about it, save your pennies to buy it, and trade it for your friend’s most coveted treats at lunch time.
If your childhood love affair with candy included a healthy preoccupation with the iconic Necco Wafers, you’ll be happy to learn that the “162-year-old Massachusetts company is taking its venerable Necco Wafers all-natural, making them the largest mass-produced candy line in the U.S. to shed artificial flavoring and colors” (AP).
This is a well-timed move on the company’s part, with Halloween just around the corner, and every one from dieticians to mommy bloggers calling for a return to more wholesome goody bag fodder.
Although artificial flavors and colorings are found in just about every type of sweet treat, Necco is making a bold move toward more all-natural ingredients, which is sure to earn them more than a few kudos from people trying to keep toxic additives to a minimum in their children’s diets.
Necco, which is short for New England Confectionary Co., produces about 4 billion of the crunchy, malty wafers each year, packaging them in large rolls (36 wafers) and junior rolls (nine wafers).
What will the company use to replace the formerly chemical based flavors and colorings? “Beet juice, purple cabbage, cocoa powder and turmeric — a spice often used in curries — are some of the natural ingredients in the new wafers, which will be phased in at retail stores before and after Halloween” (AP).
In an interesting stroke of coincidence, the only wafer flavor to be lost in the switch to natural ingredients was green.
“Green, one of eight original wafer colors, was too hard to duplicate in the all-natural process. It seems the lime flavor could be reproduced naturally, but the color lacked consistency so it was scrapped” (AP).
Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons by House Of Sims
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