Kraft to remove all synthetic dyes from macaroni and cheese in U.S.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese will remove all synthetic dyes in the U.S. in 2016

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese announced it will stop using the artificial preservatives and synthetic colors that give the cheese sauce its signature orange neon hue, for good.

Beginning January 2016, all of the mac 'n' cheese in blue boxes made in the U.S. will be colored with natural ingredients, including paprika, annatto and turmeric. 

The move comes two years after a petition asked the company to remove artificial dyes from its macaroni and cheese. The petition had more than 365,000 signatures, but Kraft is attributing the change to hearing directly from families. 

"We've met with families in their homes and watched them prepare Kraft Mac & Cheese in their kitchens," said Kraft Vice President of Marketing, Meals Triona Schmelter in a statement. "They told us they want to feel good about the foods they eat and serve their families, including everything from improved nutrition to simpler ingredients." 

Vani Hari, the author of the petition, thanked the thousands of people who signed the petition on the website, but called the move just the beginning.

"I hope Kraft's decision to remove these artificial food dyes from mac 'n' cheese continues throughout their entire product line including Jell-O, Kool Aid and across the country," wrote Hari.

In 2014, Kraft removed the synthetic colors from its Mac & Cheese Boxed Shapes and also reduced the saturated fat by 25%, and lowered the sodium by 100 mg.

More cheese please! Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times