It's official: Kraft Foods Group has heard its consumers' requests, and they're doing something about it. As the movement away from processed and artificially-enhanced foods continues to gain momentum, a growing number of companies are choosing to meet their customers' wants and needs in order to remain relevant.
Earlier this week, Kraft announced that synthetic coloring and artificial preservatives will be removed from one of its most popular products, the original macaroni and cheese. Instead, paprika, annatto and turmeric will be used to add color.
This announcement comes after three years of research and consumer tests, in order to ensure the flavor that customers know and love remained. "We weren't ready to change the product until we were confident that Kraft Macaroni & Cheese tastes like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese," said the company.
The change will take effect in the United States in early 2016—and Canada will see its original version (Kraft Dinner Original) make the same change by the close of 2016. Artificial flavors and colors have already been dropped from Kraft Mac & Cheese Boxed Shapes, which often feature popular characters from SpongeBob and Star Wars.
"Kraft said that its other macaroni and cheese varieties sold in the U.S., such as Shapes Cups, Original Cups, Premium Flavors and Easy Mac will have no artificial flavors, preservatives or synthetic colors later next year," reports the New York Times.
It's unknown whether or not customers will see a change in prices once products are updated, but other products did not increase in price when they shed artificial preservatives and synthetic coloring.
Within the past few weeks, Kraft has also made news due to a recent recall that affected millions of mac and cheese boxes, as well as the controversy over the ADA's nutritional education program label appearing on Kraft Singles.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She's a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
Image: Mac and cheese via Shutterstock