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Campbell's Soup to remove all artificial colors, flavors by 2018

Campbell Soup said Wednesday that it will take high fructose corn syrup out of all of its Pepperidge Farm breads by the end of fiscal 2017 and will stop using artificial colors and flavors in most of its products in North America by the end of fiscal 2018.

The company also said it will take added MSG out of condensed soup for children.

The announcement came as part of a financial report in which Campbell Soup said its cost-cutting plan is paying off faster than it expected. The soup maker raised its profit forecast for fiscal 2015 and its shares rose nearly 2 percent amid a broad market sell-off.

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However, Campbell Soup said it is aiming for long-term sales growth of 1 percent to 3 percent per year, down from 3 percent to 4 percent growth.

The company said the lower estimate is based on the "current conditions in the food industry."

Sales of products like canned soups have fallen as shoppers opt for options that seem fresher, hurting sales of key products for Campbell Soup and its competitors. In the last few years the company bought Bolthouse Farms juices, Plum Organics baby food and salsa, hummus and dip maker Garden Fresh Gourmet, an acquisition that closed last month.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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