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The History of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

You might be surprised to learn that Kraft did not invent macaroni and cheese. In fact, the earliest known recipe for the dish dates back to 1769. However, Kraft did patent its now-famous processed cheese. In 1937, the company learned of a salesman selling pasta with a packet of Kraft cheese attached with a rubber band and was inspired to begin marketing Kraft Dinner. The box promised to feed a family of four for just 19 cents, a major boon during the Great Depression. The product was wildly successful, selling 8 million boxes in the first year. Food rationing during World War II kept the product’s popularity soaring (two boxes of Kraft Dinner could be purchased for one rationing coupon) and in 1943, 80 million boxes were sold. Kraft Mac & Cheese’s popularity has continued well into the 21st century. The company has even introduced a microwavable version of the product, Easy Mac. Interestingly, the company quietly changed the recipe in December 2015 to remove artificial flavors, preservatives, and dyes, but few consumers noticed until Kraft announced the change in March 2016. Today, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese remains a favorite among children, a convenient comfort food for adults, and is still an affordable choice for families, the same as it once was during the Great Depression.

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