Marks & Spencer is launching a gourmet range of jelly beans that it claims are the first in the world to contain no artificial colours or flavours. The High Street retailer announced the new product just hours after a study confirmed a link between artificial additives and hyperactive and disruptive behaviour.
The report has led the Food Standards Agency to take the unusual step of advising consumers to avoid giving certain E-numbers to children if they suffer from hyperactivity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The retailer is launching the jelly beans in 14 flavours, including barbecue banana, coconut and strawberry jam, after a revival of interest in retro confectionery.
The new sweets will now be made using natural colours, such as Beetroot Red, and fruit concentrates such as pear, plum and pineapple juice.
Chris Seaby, the retailer’s confectionery expert, says: “Jelly Beans evoke childhood memories for many and we know from our research that it’s adults who like to eat them as much as children.”