Friday, March 16, 2012

Coloring Food Green For St. Patrick's Day Gets Scrutiny - March 15th, 2012

When Mom told you to eat your greens, surely she didn't mean this stuff.

Like Shamrock Shakes from McDonald's. Or iced-green doughnuts from Dunkin'. Dyed-green bagels from Bruegger's. And, this weekend only, special green dipping sauce at Burger King in which folks can plunk their freebie french fries. (Not-to-worry: The french fries aren't green.)

For St. Patrick's Day, chains are temporarily turning some of their most popular items green with hopes that green-colored food will attract the culinary curious. Or, at least give a kid a reason to nag Mom to stop by.

Even then, green-dyed food and beverages may get some extra scrutiny this year. "Certainly, there is increased concern among consumers about additives, including colorings," says Joy Blakeslee, nutritional center director for Publicis Consultants.

Among things going green for St. Paddy's Day:

Dipping sauce. 

Burger King will hand out free fries — with green dipping sauce — on Saturday and Sunday. Heinz will supply some 7 million packets of the green "Heinz St. Paddy's Sauce," says Alex Macedo, senior vice president, North America marketing.

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