Chick-fil-a, arguably the leader in the chicken sandwich market, has announced a change to its iconic meal: it’s removing high-fructose corn syrup from the company’s white buns and also artificial dyes from its sauces and dressings.
The move, according to the Associated Press, is part of a goal to improve the restaurant’s ingredients.
The AP notes that the change can be traced back to food blogger Vani Hari’s criticism:
The changes come after blogger Vani Hari wrote a post in 2011 titled “Chick-fil-A or Chemical Fil-A?” on her site, FoodBabe.com. It noted that the chain’s sandwich had nearly 100 ingredients, including peanut oil with TBHQ, a chemical made from butane. Hari, based in Charlotte, N.C., continued writing about Chick-fil-A’s ingredients.
“They took my concerns and started developing a road map of how to address them,” Hari, who received an email from the company detailing the changes on Tuesday, told the AP.
Hari listed the changes in a new blog post [emphasis added]:
- Successfully removed Yellow #5 and reduced sodium in our chicken soup recipe. Our new soup recipe is rolling out chain-wide now, and will be complete by the end of December.
- We have successfully removed HFCS and artificial colors from several of our sauces and dressings. We will move into a testing and rollout phase with these new condiments in early 2014.
- Testing peanut oil without TBHQ in multiple markets now with the hopes to rollout chain-wide in early 2014
- We are still in test with the cleaner label white bun. The test is being expanded to other markets outside of Georgia for possible chain-wide rollout by end of 2014.
After Vari’s original blog post, “Chick-fil-A or Chemical Fil-A?”, gained traction, the company invited her to its headquarters in Atlanta to discuss it.
“It was productive and positive, and after a year of follow up meetings directly with Chick-fil-A executives, Chick-fil-a has finally indicated to me that they are making several major changes I suggested,” she writes.
“We’ve been systemically going through (the menu),”Jodie Worrell, who works in Chick-fil-A product strategy and development, told the AP.
“More and more these days, we’ve become a kind of food culture. People seem to care a lot more about what’s in it, how it’s made and where did it come from,” David Farmer, vice president of product strategy and development, added.
The new buns are currently being tested in about 200 Georgia restaurants, the AP says, with the sauces and dressings set to undergo testing next year.
This story has been updated.