Have you been in the grocery store lately?

THIS-MORNING-11

MORNING-11

store. The Wall Street Journal looks at a new selling point for packaged

foods fewer ingredients. Food giants hope that simpler labels will attract

more consumers by helping them recognize exactly what you`re eating.>

GAYLE KING: Have you been in the grocery store lately? You might notice some new takes on some old products at the grocery store. The Wall Street Journal looks at a new selling point for packaged foods--fewer ingredients. Food giants hope that simpler labels will attract more consumers by helping them recognize exactly what you`re eating. Earlier this year the Hershey Company introduced Simply 5 Syrup. It`s a five-ingredient version of its classic chocolate syrup. It used to have eleven ingredients.

CHARLIE ROSE: Mm.

DANA JACOBSON: Tostitos has expanded its Simply line with a bag of chips that has only three ingredients. And Bertolli frozen meals is rolling out a pasta dish that eliminates several preservatives and enrichments. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Moss examined the food industry in his bestselling book Salt Sugar Fat. Welcome back to Studio 57.

MICHAEL MOSS (Author, Salt Sugar Fat; Investigative Journalist): Thank you.

DANA JACOBSON: So what is behind this trend? Because I`ve definitely noticed it out there.

MICHAEL MOSS: You know, people are losing trust in the largest food companies and they`re very concerned about these massive ingredient lists on so many products, many, many products in the grocery store. They just go on and on and on forever. And the companies are responding in kind of the best way they know how, which is to-- to take out the-- the things that they really don`t need in those products.

DANA JACOBSON: But is it healthier because there are fewer ingredients?

MICHAEL MOSS: Oh, well, that`s the real question, is it healthier? And you can almost say simply, yes, but, there`s what`s left in there? What`s left in there typically is the-- the salt, the sugar, the fat, the calories, the real essence of-- of so many of these products. So they`re going to have less artificial flavorings, less coloring, less GMO, perhaps. But that`s the real difficult thing for consumers is knowing are these things really healthy.

GAYLE KING: So what are they taking out and does it taste better?

MICHAEL MOSS: Yes. So they`re taking out colorings, like that bright orange glow in the Kraft Mac and Cheese is gone. They`re taking out--

GAYLE KING: That`s a good thing.

MICHAEL MOSS: That`s a good thing. They`re taking out artificial preservatives. If they can find natural preservatives to-- to maintain the shelf life that`s a good thing. They`re-- they`re taking out GMO, they`re taking out gluten, right, people are concerned about that as well.

GAYLE KING: And the taste?

MICHAEL MOSS: Kind of every-- especially every chemical sounding name because that worries a lot of people, even though, I`m not sure that that worry is well placed.

GAYLE KING: But does it taste better?

MICHAEL MOSS: That`s what they are making sure. So none of these companies are going to roll out a new product without-- without subjecting it too-- to massive sort of taste. So I mean that`s the bottom line for them--low cost, convenient, and yummy. They don`t have going, you know, that`s-- that`s the risk that they don`t want to take, so.

CHARLIE ROSE: What should they do that they`re not doing?

MICHAEL MOSS: You know they should look at the calories, the salt, sugar, fat. But on the flipside, even though, I keep harping about salt, sugar, fat, they should look at adding good things to their products. I mean it`s one thing to sort of take the Hot Pocket down for Nestle, for example, and reduce the salt, sugar, fat. But can they stuff those Hot Pockets with the things that all of us should be eating more of broccoli, Brussels, you know, vegetables. And that`s the-- that`s the real challenge for the processed food industry.

CHARLIE ROSE: Hand-- hand me some chocolate with broccoli for dinner?

GAYLE KING: Yeah. Yes, that`s right.

MICHAEL MOSS: Can they really truly--

GAYLE KING: That-- that sounds yummy, chocolate with broccoli.

MICHAEL MOSS: Hey. Syrup is syrup, right? If you`re going for that-- that Hershey`s, go for it, right? But-- but if you`re looking for a product that should be healthy for you, right?

GAYLE KING: But, overall, you say this is a good trend, don`t you, Michael?

MICHAEL MOSS: Yeah. Listening to consumers, paying attention, it`s a good thing.

GAYLE KING: All right.

DANA JACOBSON: Fewer labels to read.

CHARLIE ROSE: Thank you, Michael.

DANA JACOBSON: Thank you, Michael.

MICHAEL MOSS: You`re welcome.

GAYLE KING: Thank you for joining us at the table again. You have a very distinct speaking style. Where are you from?

MICHAEL MOSS: California.

DANA JACOBSON: Gayle had somewhere else in mind.

CHARLIE ROSE: It`s west of London.

GAYLE KING: Yes.

DANA JACOBSON: Speaking of London, Hugh Grant and Meryl Streep will join us, giving us an inside look at their new movie about possibly the worst opera singer in history. Plus, fruit that tastes like candy. Mm. We`ll be right back.

CHARLIE ROSE: Oh, we were just talking about that.

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