Schwan's says goodbye to trans fats, artificial flavors and more

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The ingredients on your Red Baron pizza box will soon be easier to pronounce.

The Minnesota-based Schwan Food Company announced on Tuesday its commitment to "ingredient simplicity," which means they'll be cutting artificial flavors, trans fats and more from their recipes, according to a news release.

The move, the company says, is "part of Schwan’s longtime work to evolve its foods to meet the health and wellness expectations of consumers."

Schwan's is responsible not only for Red Baron, but also the Freschetta and Tony's pizza brands, Mrs. Smith's desserts, and a wide array of other frozen foods.

According to the news release, you will start seeing four "ingredient groups" vanish from those products' nutrition labels by the end of this year: partially hydrogenated oils and artificial trans fats, artificial dyes, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors.

The corn syrup will go by the end of 2016, and the artificial flavors will follow suit by the end of 2017, Schwan's says.

“Consumer satisfaction and overall experience with our food is of the utmost importance to our company and employees,” company officials said, adding that "we will continue to evaluate our ingredient lists to ensure we are satisfying consumer expectations.”

Schwan's says its subsidiaries employ 13,000 people in the United States.

A changing industry

Schwan's is joining another Minnesota food giant in following a trend toward natural ingredients in mass-produced foods: General Mills.

The Golden Valley-based company recently cut artificial ingredients from its popular breakfast cereals due to consumer demand.

On Tuesday – just a day before Schwan's made its own announcement – General Mills said it would be replacing the cartoon rabbit on the "Trix" box with a real rabbit to reflect the move toward natural ingredients, but only temporarily.

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