The KRAFT Mac & Cheese line, already a convenience food mainstay in North America, was extended with a vegan iteration back in 2021, which appears to have been limited to the Australian market. KRAFT also owns the Philadelphia brand which debuted a vegan cream cheese in 2022 and rolled out nationally across the US this year after the success of its trial. This new launch marks the first KRAFT Mac & Cheese produced with NotCo and featuring the company’s NotCheese.
“NotCo brings its revolutionary AI technology […] to KRAFT – the beloved mac & cheese brand that sells over a million boxes every day”
The company cites that the growth of health-conscious mac & cheese alternatives has surpassed the overall plant-based category growth sixfold. But despite this growth, concerns related to taste and texture have hindered repeat purchases, with fewer than thirty percent of plant-based mac & cheese consumers opting for a subsequent purchase, according to the company.
Available in two varieties — Original and White Cheddar — the company leveraged Giuseppe’s AI technology to create a plant-based formula that mimics the flavor and creaminess of the original Kraft Heinz Mac & Cheese, but without dairy.
Lucho Lopez-May, CEO of The Kraft Heinz Not Company, states, “The Kraft Heinz Not Company creates plant-based versions of fan-favorite foods that taste like the real thing, yet don’t require people to drastically change their eating habits.”
The inception of The Kraft Heinz Not Company LLC took place last year, combining NotCo’s patented AI-driven food technology with Kraft Heinz’s iconic brands and scaling capabilities. Their initial joint products, dairy-free cheese slices replicating Kraft’s classic Singles slices and vegan mayonnaise, were introduced towards the end of last year.
Transforming product portfolio
The CEO of Kraft Heinz, Miguel Patricio commented, “The joint venture with NotCo is a critical step in the transformation of our product portfolio. It delivers on our vision for cleaner, greener, and delicious products for consumers.”
KRAFT NotMac&Cheese is the latest addition to The Kraft Heinz Not Company’s portfolio expansion, aligning with its ambition to expand plant-based offerings across diverse brands and categories. This launch complements The Kraft Heinz Not Company’s existing plant-based offerings, including KRAFT NotCheese Slices and NotMayo. Looking ahead, the company plans to scale into additional categories and commence international expansion by 2024.
“NotCo brings its revolutionary AI technology that has a proven track record in creating mouthwatering plant-based foods to KRAFT – the beloved mac & cheese brand that sells over a million boxes every day. Leveraging the strengths of both companies, we’re offering the creamy and comforting experience KRAFT Mac & Cheese fans have loved for over 85 years – without the dairy,” concludes Lopez-May.
Scheduled for nationwide availability, KRAFT NotMac&Cheese is expected to roll out through early 2024.