NEWS
05/23/2016 11:05 EDT | Updated 05/24/2017 01:12 EDT

M&M Food Market to ditch artificial ingredients, trans fat by end of 2017

TORONTO — M&M Food Market says all its products will be free of artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners, as well as trans fats by the end of 2017.

About 95 per cent of the food the company sells is already free of these ingredients.

Now M&M is working with about 20 suppliers to ensure the remaining products, like its gingered beef, pork pot roast and spanakopita appetizers, are redeveloped to meet this goal. It says those products will be removed from its stores if suppliers fail to meet the deadline.

The changes are part of the company's ongoing rebranding efforts. Earlier this year, it changed its name from M&M Meat Shops to M&M Food Market and introduced more than 100 new products.

Private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners and its partners bought M&M in July 2014 and appointed CEO Andy O'Brien to take charge of the frozen-food company.

O'Brien says he plans to expand the brand over the next five years or so to 500 stores from 350 at present.