Categories
Packaged Food Sweets

Kraft Mac & Cheese Ice Cream Pints Are Now Real

Photo courtesy of Kraft

The first thing that comes to mind when you hear that Kraft Mac & Cheese has an ice cream is that it’s a gimmick, or an April Fool’s prank of some sort.

We’re in July, however, and these pints of cheesy ice cream are no joke. It’s a serious collab between the mac and cheese magnate and Van Leeuwen, a premier Brookyln-based ice cream maker who’s churning out a limited batch for $12 a pint.

Van Leeuwen incorporated all of the flavor of Kraft mac into their ice cream base, according to a press release. Not sure if that means they just whisked the cheese powder from the boxes in, but that’s not a bad idea, especially with how good salty and sweet work together.

Cheese ice creams aren’t also anything extremely groundbreaking. Purveyors like Salt and Straw have made their livelihood off incorporating tangy goat cheeses into ice cream, and there’s a variety of ice cream brands that mix cheddar into their pints. The precedent is there, but this is a pretty big brand like Kraft making a splash in the cheesy ice cream pool.

For those interested in acquiring a pint or two, they’ll be sold on the Van Leeuwen’s website starting at 11 am ET on July 14th. You can also grab a scoop at Van Leeuwen stores in LA, Houston, and NYC while supplies last. A Kraft Ice Cream truck will also be outside of New York City’s Union Square from 11 am – 6 pm on the 14th, slinging out free samples of the mac and cheese ice cream.

Categories
Packaged Food

Kraft Creates Limited-Edition Pink Candy Mac & Cheese For Valentine’s Day

Photo courtesy of Kraft

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of romance, candies, flowers, and candlelit dinners. Does pink candy-flavored macaroni and cheese come to mind? Not at all, but I’m willing to go with it. 

Kraft has introduced a wildly vibrant pink macaroni and cheese they’re calling Candy Kraft Mac and Cheese

Essentially the base of the macaroni dish is the same. However, the new candy flavor packet turns the iconic dish into a vibrant pink and adds a sweet candy flavor to your bowl.

Not sure how stoked I am about my Mac and cheese coming out sweet and pink, but I’ll keep an open mind.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy these in stores. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the exclusive variation will only be available to 1,000 fans as part of sweepstakes for the holiday. 

To enter, visit CandyKraftMacandCheese.com

Categories
Grocery Health Packaged Food

Kraft Mac & Cheese Goes Gluten-Free To Close Out 2020

Photo courtesy of Kraft

The gluten-free and Celiac disease communities just got a second hit of good news to cap off 2020. In addition to gluten-free OREOs launching at the start of next year, gluten-free Kraft Mac & Cheese is now available in stores nationwide.

Kraft made the pasta using brown rice and corn, and tailored the blend to meet the FDA’s standards for gluten-free. This means that the ingredients used to make the mac and cheese do not come from gluten-containing grains (ie. wheat), or are processed to remove gluten to the point where there is less than 20 parts per million of gluten in the final cheesy pasta.

The mac also retains the original’s consistency and cheesy flavor, meaning that gluten-free consumers should be getting a comparable experience to those who’ve been eating Kraft’s mac for years.

With two of the world’s most ubiquitous brands moving to add gluten-free versions of their signature products, accessibility to these types of foods just became a whole lot easier.

Categories
Packaged Food

Kraft Kicks Off Fall With Pumpkin Spice Mac & Cheese In Canada

Photo courtesy of Kraft Heinz Canada

As summer comes to an end, everyone is gearing up for the fall season and, with that, comes the infamous Pumpkin Spice-themed foods and drinks. Yep, it’s that time again, folks. 

This year, however, Kraft Dinner is offering Canadians a new take on the seasonal flavor in the form of a Pumpkin Spice Macaroni and Cheese dinner box. 

Made with the same cheese powder base many of us grew up on, the new mac and cheese adds the fall flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. The result is a spicy and cheesy dinner treat.

Those all about pumpkin spice can sign up for a waitlist, and 1,000 lucky Canadians will be able to get their hands on a box of the new mac as well as some swag for free. 

Everyone else, it seems, will have to wait until October to try it out. 

Categories
Culture Fast Food Packaged Food Restaurants

Could Macaroni And Cheese Be The Next Big Breakfast Food?

Macaroni and cheese has long been a favorite comfort food in the United States. Boxed mac dinners, scratch made, it’s all been a tasty pasta dish that we’ve loved to tuck into for dinner, lunch or a quick snack.

As the pandemic has ravaged across the nation, however, data has begun to suggest that mac and cheese has also become a bigger part of our breakfast routine.

Kraft, for example, conducted a survey amongst 1,000 adults and found that over half of them had given their kids mac and cheese for breakfast more often during the pandemic.

Data from Tastewise, an AI platform that analyzes patterns around food on the internet, has also found mentions of mac and cheese for breakfast or brunch climb by 50% over the past year.

Foodbeast has also taken notice of some mac and cheese breakfast items that have popped up in various restaurants. The Southern California chain Breakfast Republic, for example, has a skillet of breakfast mac, topped with eggs and bacon, on their menu.

Other restaurants, like The Row in Nashville, Homeroom in Oakland, and Ritual in Houston, also carry similar items in their list of breakfast offerings, whether it be on their regular menu or as a special.

So, could macaroni and cheese be starting to grow in popularity as a breakfast item? The above definitely suggests otherwise, even if other data indicates that a majority of folks haven’t heard too much of it yet.

Foodbeast has been surveying some of our own audience, and across over 1,400 people asked on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, only about 38% had heard of or tried a breakfast mac and cheese dish before. Additionally, data from Tastewise notes that of over 500,000 restaurants in their set, no more than a few hundred have the item somewhere on their menu.

This means that there’s plenty of room for breakfast mac to catch on, should people desire it. Personally, I wouldn’t mind digging into a few bowls of it with some oozy eggs for breakfast.

Categories
Design Packaged Food

You Can Turn Your Dad’s Face Into A Big Block Of Cheese For Father’s Day

If you’re still on the hunt for some Father’s Day gifts, there’s a last-minute chance to channel your inner Andrew Jackson and turn Pops into a big cheese block.

cheese block

Photo courtesy of Kraft

Kraft is offering up the zany opportunity on eBay, where the top 5 bidders in a special, 48-hour auction will win a custom-made cheese sculpture. Currently, the top bid stands at $500.

If you’re one of the top five, Kraft will reach out to you following the auction and ask for a picture of your dad. They’ll then have professional sculptors carve a bust of him out of a 40-pound block of cheddar. It’ll be completed the day before Father’s Day, at which point it will get sent to you.

For those wondering, Kraft isn’t keeping any of the money from the proceeds of this auction. 100% of the funds, plus a matching donation from them, will go to Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the country. So even if you don’t win, you can tell your dad that you spent good money on him that’s going to a great cause.

Those who do win the big block of cheese, though, are being advised by Kraft to NOT eat the cheese block. It’s meant for art, not for consumption purposes, so hold off on the crackers.

The auction closes on June 12th at 3 pm PST, and is only available to those in the 48 contiguous United States.

Categories
Grocery News Now Trending Packaged Food Science

That Viral Mac And Cheese Study Is Actually A Fear-Mongering Twist On The Truth

Photo: Mike Mozart on Flickr

Don’t trust every scientific study that comes along on the Internet.

The New York Times recently published an article about a study identifying chemicals called phthalates in boxed macaroni and cheese products. Phthalates accidentally leach into food, especially high-fat items like meat and cheese, from processing or packaging equipment. In high dosages, they have some chronic toxicological concerns, which include potentially limiting testosterone production and disrupting hormones.

In their post, the Times claims that powdered cheese in boxed mac and cheese products, such as those produced by Kraft, can contain up to four times more phthalate than dairy products like string cheese.

Since the article went live, other outlets have begun to discuss how we should avoid eating boxed mac and cheese in the future because of these phthalates. If you read one of these, including the Times piece, there’s a good chance you stumbled into some classic pitfalls of inaccurate science reporting.

I’m not going to say that the Times article is completely false. They do a great job describing the toxicological risks of phthalates based on current research. However, there are multiple elements of the mac and cheese study that need to be addressed because it unjustly instills fear into the consumption of a product we love by distorting some data.

Photo: Steven Guzzardi on Flickr

To start, the claim that powdered cheese has quadruple the phthalate of other cheese products is definitely inflated. In the original study, you’ll find that in the actual overall product, phthalate levels are roughly within the same concentration range of 100-200 micrograms per kilogram of food. That means that per kilogram, cheese products like string cheese, cottage cheese, and the powdered cheese all have the same concentration level of phthalate. The false powdered cheese claim comes from measuring on a fat basis, so you would only find quadruple the phthalate in your system if you just ate the fat from each cheese, which doesn’t sound too appetizing.

If you try to compare between different specific phthalates, which is how the European Union regulates their intake of these incidental additives (the US has no such recommendations), you’ll find that the authors of the circulated report pulled a fast one. Instead of showing the concentration of each phthalate in the total product, they only presented data on the amount of each phthalate in the fat of all cheese products. There is no way to compare how much of each specific compound is present between boxed macaroni and cheese, string cheese, and other products evaluated by the study, so no actual determination can be made if these compounds are present in toxic levels or not.

Speaking of the study, it itself is more biased than that coconut oil study published by the American Heart Association last month. The coalition behind this report targeted Kraft Mac and Cheese as a potentially toxic product to strike fear into us. We know this because while no brands are named in the report, Kraft was the only brand analyzed that was mentioned to the New York Times. Furthermore, the study’s writers, “The Coalition For Safer Food Processing And Packaging,” were kind enough to leave us their website name: www.KleanUpKraft.org. Pretty sure there’s at least some kind of bias there.

On the website, you can actually find the full laboratory report of the tests that wasn’t displayed or circulated by the New York Times. Page 22 shows the full results of each specific phthalate for each product, and none of these results come even close to EU limits of how much of each phthalate can be present per kilogram of food. (Look at page 5 in the SML column of this report for those amounts.) This means that Klean Up Kraft took the data and egregiously spun it to scare us all out of eating boxed mac and cheese.

Photo: Pixabay

Based on this realization, however, you should feel better about chowing down on some boxed macaroni tonight. There isn’t even close to enough phthalate in this cheesy pasta to be of concern. You can still avoid it if you wish, but just know that the study about these compounds is blowing the entire thing out of proportion.

Categories
Humor Video

Watch Kraft’s Charmingly Vulgar Mother’s Day Commercial

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and this year, Kraft is giving moms a little extra love. In honor of the National Holiday, the mac and cheese brand teamed up with swearing expert Melissa Mohr, Ph.D., in a hilarious commercial short: Swear Like a Mother.

The idea is that moms aren’t perfect, they’ll mess up just like everyone else because they’re human. This includes swearing like a sailor upon occasion. Statistically, 74 percent of moms have admitted to swearing in front of their own children.

Mohr is the author of Holy Sh*T: A Brief History of Swearing, a book on alternative swear words moms can use around their kids.

Check out the short in the video above. This officially serves as your first reminder to get your mom something for Mother’s Day.

Kraft is also developing adorable mac and cheese ear plugs for children, in case swearing alternatives cannot be found in the heat of the moment.