Kraft to Promote Macaroni and Cheese Change Made Months Ago

Brand Sells More Than 50 Million Boxes and Few Notice Tweaks

Published On
Mar 07, 2016

Editor's Pick

Kraft Heinz is ready to promote a major ingredient switch after what could be called the world's biggest blind taste test.

Last April, Kraft said it would soon refresh the ingredients in its iconic macaroni and cheese to appeal to today's clean label-minded consumers.

Removing artificial flavors, preservatives and synthetic colors without dramatically changing the taste, color and texture took years. The final recipe was ready in 2015. Instead of boasting, the brand opted to quietly overhaul the ingredient list on the side of the famous blue box. It sold more than 50 million boxes after the switch was made in December, and waited to see if any consumers noticed.

Few did.

"We wanted our fans to experience the new recipe themselves, without being prompted," said Greg Guidotti, VP-meal solutions for Kraft Heinz.

Now, Kraft Heinz is ready to shout about the change. Starting Monday, it will promote one of its biggest bets with a campaign that plays on the idea that "it's changed but it hasn't."

Craig Kilborn appears in new TV commercials as a pitchman holding a new box, which now calls out the ingredient changes in bold lettering. The actor was chosen "because he can deliver that message in a way that's very consistent with the tone of our brand and he can really say it with a smile," said Mr. Guidotti.

Commercials, including a 30-second version and two 15-second spots, show a mom, a kid, a dog and others not reacting to the overhauled ingredients. They are set to air during programs such as Today, Ellen, The Voice, American Idol and the NCAA Basketball tournament.

The campaign speaks in broad strokes, rather than pointing out ingredient swaps such as using paprika, annatto and tumeric for color instead of Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. Kraft wants to appeal to both current buyers and lapsed buyers, who either stopped buying boxed macaroni and cheese or switched to smaller rival brands such as Annie's Homegrown from General Mills.

Read more about the campaign over at


Mar 07, 2016
Brand :
Client :
Agency :
Crispin Porter Bogusky
Vice President/Chief Creative Offier :
Ralph Watson
Vice President/Executive Creative Director :
Adam Chasnow
Creative Director :
D'Arcy O'Neill
Art Director :
Tyler Gonerka
Writer :
Emily Salas
Vice President/Director, Video Production :
Kate Hildebrant
Integrated Producer :
Jamie Slade
Production Company :
Hungry Man
Director :
Hank Perlman
Director, Photography :
Eric Steelberg
Executive Producer :
Mino Jarjoura
Executive Producer :
Nancy Hacohen
Editorial :
The Now Corporation
Editor :
Owen Plotkin
Assistant Editor :
Jessica Dowling
Editorial Executive Producer :
Nancy Finn
Post Production :
Lead Compositor :
Steve Mottershead
Lead Compositor :
Ben Vaccaro
Executive Producer :
John Skeffington
Post Producer :
Adriana Wong
Graphics and Animation :
Mix Company :
Lime Studios
Audio Engineer :
Mark Meyerhaus
Audio Engineer :
Peter Lapinski
Music Company :
JSM Music
Music Executive Producer :
Joel Simon
Telecine Company :
Colorist :
Steve Mottershead
Vice President/Account Director :
Evan Russack
Account Director :
Kelly Olech
Content Manager :
Ashley Huehnerfuss
Group Director, Strategy :
Kaylin Goldstein
Business Affairs :
Katherine Graham-Smith
Traffic Manager :
Tito Texidor
Traffic Manager :
Laura Crow
Traffic Manager :
Katie Hare

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