The iconic "Kraft Macaroni & Cheese" name will soon be retired after 85 years on grocery shelves.
The household staple will subsequently be known as "Kraft Mac & Cheese."
On the surface, with a name change that involves removing only five letters, there's a chance regular shoppers won't even notice the switch.
But for the Kraft company, the name change goes deeper than merely shortening a word. Instead, it's "meant to reflect the way fans organically talk about the brand," the company announced Wednesday.
The new name and packaging will hit the shelves in August, Kraft says.
Shoppers might notice the box's subtle makeover, which includes a refreshed logo, new typography and a single-hue blue that "amplifies the brand's most recognizable asset — the noodle smile."
Kraft said the new name and box are part of an effort to rebrand its mac & cheese as "comfort food." That distinction apparently helps it differentiate from healthier products eating up shelf space.
For example, "Goodles" is a Gal Gadot-backed startup that "sells boxed macaroni and cheese with more protein and fiber at a higher price."
Banza and Annie's also make similar products that are seemingly marketed as more wholesome than Kraft's version.
According to CNN Business, Kraft's mac-and-cheese viability has absorbed some recent pricing hits. Dozens of its products "got price hikes in recent months," including a 3.5% increase on a pack of EZ Mac, and a 20% price increase for a 7.25-ounce dish of Kraft Big Bowl Macaroni and Cheese.
Kraft attributed the increased input costs to strong demand and supply constraints. And in a letter to suppliers, Kraft reportedly acknowledged the "upward trend in packaging, transportation, ingredients and labor costs persists, reaching levels not seen in decades."
Those higher costs led to Kraft Heinz Co.'s decision to raise prices.
According to San Francisco-based KRON-TV, Kraft's original macaroni and cheese box was mostly yellow. The latest version is blue-dominant, except for the signature noodle-smile.
Kraft Heinz (KHC) says it moves more than 1 million units of macaroni-and-cheese products per day.
Kraft was first to sell boxed macaroni and cheese, according to Business Insider.
The product came out in 1937 and sold 50 million boxes during World War II, the Chicago Tribune reported.
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