Dear Kraft Dinner Changers – You Can Take Our Neon Pasta, But You Can Never Take Our Freedom!

Kristine Laco
Written by Kristine Laco

It is a sad time in history. Our beloved neon orange Kraft Dinner is changing as of 2016. Instead of Yellow Dye #5 and #6, they are replacing it with paprika, annatto and turmeric.

NoooooooooooOOoo!!111!

As a former marketer, I know that not all marketing is brilliant. Let us all take a moment of silence to remember “New Coke.” Not all market research actually gets to the right answer either. This is how I imagine the initial discussion went down:

KD Brand Manager: The organics are eating away (ha) at our 1 million boxes of KD sold* per day market share. They had four more boxes sold this month than in previous months. This must be stopped!

Ad Agency Rep: I hear that the other brand uses natural colouring instead of Yellow Dyes.

As a former marketer, I know that not all marketing is brilliant. Let us all take a moment of silence to remember “New Coke.”

KD Brand Manager: Why the fuck would they do that? We have been trained to think that cheese is neon orange. Why are they fucking with our market and our mind?

Ad Agency Rep: I don’t know, but maybe we should try it. I hear they add annatto.

Do you see what just went down there in my imaginary meeting? The KD Brand Team will not want to admit they don’t know what annatto is so they will agree to the research. They may even throw in “My niece loves annatto!” because they definitely don’t have kids of their own. If they did, they would never even consider changing Kraft Dinner. Because of the annatto-loving niece and the smart-ass ad agency rep, we are all fucked in less than a year.

They probably even took their new and improved formula to a focus group of moms. A crock load of shit that would accomplish. Here is what, I can only assume, probably happened in that focus group:

Focus Group Facilitator: So you have in front of you two bowls of Mac and Cheese. Which one do you find more appealing?

Moms: They look around the room knowing they are supposed to say the natural-looking one but instinctively wanting to inhale the fluoro-orange one. They don’t want to be judged by the other moms and found out for buying KD instead of the organic one they have been telling the other moms that their sweetums adores.

Moms: Of course, the homemade-like one. The orange one looks fake (bonus marks for that and the sneer face that accompanied it).

We have been trained to think that cheese is neon orange. Why are they fucking with our market and our mind?

Focus Group Facilitator: Now give them each a try. Tell us what tastes better to you. What would you prefer to feed your growing family as they develop their little minds and nourish their bodies and their souls? What would you be proud to serve on a playdate? Be honest.

Essentially the same conversation in the moms’ minds happens and they all admit they like the new improved one better.

“Was that a hint of paprika?” one even adds.

What the Facilitator failed to note on his fancy form, and the people behind the one way glass don’t see as they are swilling champagne and toasting their turmeric genius, is this: Each of those women left that focus group with a small tear welling up in their eyes as they realized they had just contributed to the demise of their beloved KD.

They say yellow dyes are linked to hyperactivity and that is the reason for the change. Have you ever seen the tantrums a toddler who only eats Kraft Dinner for lunch will throw over tasting a new type of mac and cheese? We tried homemade, organic and every other brand on the market, and only KD would calm all of our frazzled nerves and sooth the savage beast.

This is what it looks like when I destabilize because you take away MY yellow dye #5 & #6. This shit gets real.

Did Kraft do that research in focus groups? I think not. Why? Is it because these marketers are generally men, and they are likely at work while their wives are struggling to force-feed their children so they can knock that off the list for the day? Do these same men come home and not look at the recycling when they take it out where, if they looked harder, they would notice the bright yellow and blue KD boxes folded neatly and shoved underneath the organic box that is placed in a high visibility position on top?

In my household, the same empty organic box is balanced where all the neighbours can see it. I grab it from the bin just before the truck leaves and reuse it every week to hide my undying love and addiction to neon orange pasta.

I know there are several vast and inappropriate generalizations in that statement. This is what it looks like when I destabilize because you take away MY yellow dye #5 & #6. This shit gets real.

Kraft, come to your senses. I beg of you. You will definitely see a large spike in KD sales now as we all run to Costco and Walmart to buy up every last box to get us to adolescence when maybe sweetums can give the shit up. But not now. Not when we need you the most. Eight months warning is not nearly enough to put an addition on the house or hire a storage unit for the amount of blue boxes we will need. Be reasonable.

Warning: They are also planning to fuck with Jell-O and Kool-Aid.

* That is an actual statistic. They sell 1 million boxes a day!

About the author

Kristine Laco

Kristine Laco

Kristine Laco shares the stories we all have with a splash of sarcasm, a pinch of bitch and a ton of wine. Her middle finger is her favourite and she lives by the motto that if you are not yelling at your kids, you are not spending enough time with them. She takes selfies at the gyno. Taco Tuesday is her gospel. Reality TV is real folks. She is making turning 50 a job because she doesn't have one.

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9 Comments

  • No one loves KD more than me. No seriously, NO ONE. When I moved to France 10 years ago, I had people smuggle it in for me because France was all like, “Hell no, we don’t put ingredients with # signs in their name in our food.” France may have a point. But I wanted my mac and cheese! Cheese IS neon orange! Then one day a friend brought me some mac and cheese from the UK and it was only AFTER I ate it that I realized they used natural ingredients instead of the dyes. And… well… I hate to admit it, but it tasted just the same to me. So, while I’m no fan of change and I’m the last person to advocate natural food, I think in 8 months it won’t be as bad as we all fear. However, I really see no harm in stockpiling, just in case. (Take it from someone who knows: I received 72 boxes of the neon orange stuff for my wedding and didn’t share a single one with my new husband. Hey, he’s French. He didn’t want it anyway.)
    Vicki Lesage recently posted…What will you leave behind?My Profile

  • This is unacceptable. Mac and Cheese is my favorite. My 3yo could pretty much care less. There is a Kraft factory here…I think a Mac and Cheese heist may be in order.

  • Not too long ago, I made some macaroni and cheese from scratch when I was in a pinch to whip up a quick dinner. My kids took one look at the pasta as I dished it into their bowls, and they both said, “Wait, you forgot the cheese!”

    I had to assure them that — just taste it! — the cheese was indeed in there, it just wasn’t dyed to look like itself.
    Alison recently posted…For The Love Of WritingMy Profile

    • My eldest will only eat KD in the mac and cheese realm – even with her eyes closed and, yes, we have tried it. My son will eat anything with cheese on it, regardless of colour so I make homemade when my daughter is at a friend’s.
      I know I don’t need that Yellow Dye, but think of the kids!
      Kristine Laco recently posted…Moist MiseryMy Profile