Kraft Unveils 'Sophisticated' Mac 'n' Cheese

Looks to Appeal to Older, Upscale Demo by Spicing up its Classic Kids' Meal

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Portobello mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, cavatappi pasta- just some of the ingredients in Kraft's Macaroni & Cheese brand.

Yes, Kraft is trying to attract what it's calling "liberated boomers"-whatever that means-with upscale mac 'n' cheese this May.

The goal is to lure older consumers with more sophisticated tastes to the blue-box franchise they've outgrown. In sales materials, the marketer is describing the Kraft Bistro Deluxe line as a "sophisticated mac 'n' cheese experience with unique ingredients that appeal to an adult palate."

Several packaging and product tweaks differentiate Bistro Deluxe from the classic blue box. Stand-up, easy-open pouches will flag the premium, indulgent ingredients, and the product will run consumers roughly $2.89, a price almost three times that of a box of the basic mac 'n' cheese.

An integrated marketing campaign from DraftFCB, Chicago, will tout the product. According to Information Resources Inc., Kraft dominates the declining $610 million dry-macaroni-and-cheesemixes category in food, drug and mass outlets, with only $25 million of the sales last year coming from upstart rival Annie's Homegrown.

Kraft spent $21 million in measured media on its Mac & Cheese brand in 2005 and $14 million on the brand during the first 10 months of last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.
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