- Kraft Heinz is promoting a switch to natural ingredients in its Kraft Macaroni & Cheese products — months after making said changes. The company is touting its move the world's largest "blind taste test."
- Kraft announced last April that it would be removing artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives from the macaroni and cheese product and finished the reformulation in 2015. The reformulated version has been on store shelves since December, with more than 50 million boxes sold.
- Backed by a sizable but undisclosed investment, the move was "one of the biggest bets in Kraft Heinz and we're spending accordingly," Greg Guidotti, VP-meal solutions for Kraft Heinz, told Ad Age.
The "blind taste test" was a critical move for Kraft Heinz, but it could also have an impact on major manufacturers overall. The company proved it could reformulate its legacy brand with healthier ingredients without much attention to the difference in taste or appearance.
Kraft Heinz's strategy also demonstrated that major food manufacturers don't necessarily have to ditch their legacy processed food brands and replace them with products consumers deem healthier. To remain competitive, manufacturers can make logical ingredient tweaks that appeal to consumers' desire for natural ingredients and clean labels. Manufacturers don't have to completely overhaul or abandon a long-standing brand that consumers may not associate with being "healthy."
Kraft Heinz took a different approach to start, but marketing and promotion of ingredients changes is also a crucial component to this strategy to ensure consumers know companies are making an effort. About one in five new packaged food and beverage products included label claims for no additives or preservatives last year, an increase from 13% in 2011, according to Mintel