In 2016, Kraft replaced the artificial ingredients in its macaroni and cheese with natural ingredients. Nobody noticed.

Kraft changed the recipe for Mac & Cheese three months ago — and nobody noticed

For most consumers, “better for you” is good enough.

Kraft Heinz revealed on Monday that, three months ago, it quietly stripped its signature Mac & Cheese dinners of the artificial flavors, preservatives and dyes that had forged the essence of the gooey, neon noodles since 1937. It substituted ingredients such as Yellow #5 with spices such as paprika, turmeric, and annatto. But without a big marketing push or packaging changes, virtually no one noticed, the company said — it sold 50 million boxes of Mac & Cheese in the three-month period, as usual.

The reason the company went into stealth mode was to combat consumer perceptions that tinkering with the recipe would hurt the taste. That worry first boiled over in April, when the compa… Continue Reading