Bren Lee
March 08, 2016 10:13 am

Kraft’s Mac & Cheese is junk food staple. Everyone knows it’s not exactly healthy, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s never had it. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s just changed.

Last year, Kraft announced that it would be revamping the recipe of the contents inside that iconic blue box. They’d be nixing artificial ingredients and opting for naturally-derived ones, and they said the change would take effect in January 2016. Some consumers weren’t exactly thrilled about this change, voicing concern that it would completely alter the taste that many people know and love.

Kraft saw this as an opportunity, and actually started quietly replacing the old recipe back in December, which they just announced in a press release. The brand called it “the world’s largest blind taste test” and claimed that “fifty million boxes later, people didn’t notice a difference.”

Greg Guidotti, vice president of meals at Kraft Heinz, told Eater that the brand “knew [their consumers] wanted to feel better about the ingredients they serve their families. We saw an opportunity in the marketplace to improve our ingredient line, but we didn’t want make the change before we had the right recipe.” He also said that while the change seemed immediate, Kraft had actually been working on the new recipe for over three years.

So that obviously got us wondering, what exactly is different? Instead of using artificial dyes yellow #5 and yellow #6 to give that cheese dust its signature color, Kraft used natural spices. The color is now derived from a combination of paprika, annatto, and turmeric. Kraft has also removed artificial preservatives.

This is a welcome change for those who want to be more conscientious about what they eat, but be warned, this doesn’t make that box of macaroni and cheese any healthier. The New Republic reached out to Kraft, who said the box of your favorite convenience food “will still contain around 780 calories, 75 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 1,710 milligrams of sodium… And that’s before you add the butter.”

Woah. Well, at least we can feel slightly better about our favorite guilty pleasure?

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