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Gingersnap
08-17-2010, 12:33 PM
Cashing in on comfort

Tribune reporter

August 14, 2010

Tough times call for some serious comfort food, and macaroni and cheese is a staple of that category. That's added up to a nice payday for manufacturers. As a whole, macaroni and cheese sales are up 25 percent over the last four years, to $802 million.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner accounts for the vast majority of category growth, which likely means more parents, willingly or not, have joined their kids in more bright-orange dinners. There are much smaller but also growing competitors, like Annie's, which sells itself on taste as well as natural claims, and private label, which is sometimes half the Kraft price.

Now, Northfield-based Kraft wants to bring mac and cheese, launched in the Great Depression, from kids' plates to the center of the family dinner table.

The company had been toying with a homier version of macaroni and cheese for many years, but after watching cheesy, crusty restaurant versions proliferate in recent years, and more people cooking at home to save money, Kraft began work on what is now its Homestyle Macaroni & Cheese Dinner about 18 months ago.

The new mac and cheese comes in a bag and sells at $2.99. It comes with wider, curvier noodles, a packet of gooey orange cheese, breadcrumbs and a seasoning packet, with which cooks make a base for the cheese sauce.

Kraft is also tapping in to a trend of putting personal touches on family dishes by offering an "optional oven finish," involving more cheese and an even-crispier breadcrumb topping, thanks to five minutes in the oven.

Other food-makers have been cashing in on consumers' need for classic comfort foods. Campbell Soup Co. has boasted about increased pasta sauce sales. Heinz's Ore Ida has pointed to its Steam n' Mash potatoes as one of its most promising launches in years. The spuds steam in a microwaveable bag, because no one likes chopping and peeling. Then cooks mash the potatoes and add butter, milk or some kind of personal touch. Ore Ida's Web site offers recipe suggestions too.

"Oven finish"? :eek:

Chicago Tribune (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0815-mac-n-cheese-homestyle-20100814,0,7964349.story)

PoliCon
08-17-2010, 12:50 PM
I LOATHE box mac-n-cheese. I'd rather go hungry.

Shannon
08-17-2010, 12:58 PM
I LOATHE box mac-n-cheese. I'd rather go hungry.

I grew up on the stuff. When Tristan was little and I was poor we ate Kraft mac n' cheese and Top Ramen often. We can afford to eat whatever we want now but we still love our mac n' cheese and Ramen. (when I choose to eat);)

FlaGator
08-17-2010, 01:02 PM
I love mac and cheese. From a box or made from scratch, it just doesn't matter.

obx
08-17-2010, 01:16 PM
Mac and Cheese and a couple of Sloppy Joes can make anything better.
________
REVIEW VAPORIZER (http://vaporizer.org/)

noonwitch
08-17-2010, 01:42 PM
I keep a box of Kraft around for my neices when they visit. It's a quick meal, and they love it. I ate a lot of it in college, because you could cook the noodles in one of those old coffee pots (we also fried bologna on the base of an oil-type popcorn maker).

I can make good mac and cheese from scratch, though, and it tastes better. The bright orange color of the Kraft variety makes me uncomfortable, like there's probably something toxic in it.

RobJohnson
08-17-2010, 02:04 PM
I never appreciated the homemade mac n cheese that my Grandmother made, but as I got older it started to taste better. Now I would kill for it! :D

I like all different types of Mac n Cheese. I don't have it that often, but it's always good when I do. :)

PoliCon
08-17-2010, 02:55 PM
I grew up on the stuff. When Tristan was little and I was poor we ate Kraft mac n' cheese and Top Ramen often. We can afford to eat whatever we want now but we still love our mac n' cheese and Ramen. (when I choose to eat);)

poverty is exactly why I will not eat box mac-n-cheese. We ate so much box mac-n-cheese as kids that the mere smell of the powdered cheese makes me gag. There are a couple of other 'foods' to which I have similar reactions but nothing quite so bad as box mac-n-cheese. MIND YOU - I can eat Velveeta shells and cheese . . . . and I make a wicket 5 cheese mac-n-cheese bake. :D

fettpett
08-17-2010, 03:02 PM
all this goes to show is that even when eating at home, American are lazy dumbasses that don't know how to cook anymore.

jendf
08-17-2010, 03:16 PM
I love mac and cheese. From a box or made from scratch, it just doesn't matter.

Same here. :D

marv
08-17-2010, 03:42 PM
I love mac and cheese. From a box or made from scratch, it just doesn't matter.

Same here. :D

x10.......

Cube up some extra sharp cheddar and add along with the milk, butter and package cheese mix. Put in an oven casserole dish and top off with some finely crushed cheese crackers and pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes. http://users.mo-net.com/mcruzan/avatars/yum.gif

jendf
08-17-2010, 03:44 PM
x10.......

Cube up some extra sharp cheddar and add along with the milk, butter and package cheese mix. Put in an oven casserole dish and top off with some finely crushed cheese crackers and pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes. http://users.mo-net.com/mcruzan/avatars/yum.gif

Funny. I just had lunch but suddenly I'm hungry again. That sounds great!

lacarnut
08-17-2010, 04:19 PM
Some things cooked out of a box are OK. Kraft mac & cheese is not one of them. It is so easy to make from scratch; I use angel hair pasta & mild American cheese.

marv
08-17-2010, 07:00 PM
Some things cooked out of a box are OK. Kraft mac & cheese is not one of them. It is so easy to make from scratch; I use angel hair pasta & mild American cheese.

http://fullsizebronco.com/forum/images/smilies/emot-barf.gif

CueSi
08-17-2010, 07:10 PM
http://fullsizebronco.com/forum/images/smilies/emot-barf.gif

DITTO. . .American Cheese is made from Jeneane Garofolo's effluence , it's so nasty.

~QC

marv
08-17-2010, 07:52 PM
Agree ~QC

Sliced Pasteurized Process American Horse Hoof was invented for fast food cheeseburgers and brown bagged sandwiches for school lunches for little kids who haven't tasted REAL cheese. :p

NJCardFan
08-17-2010, 08:00 PM
all this goes to show is that even when eating at home, American are lazy dumbasses that don't know how to cook anymore.

Dingdingdingdingdingding!

And the sad thing is, it's not that hard. Even for 2 income families. Crock pots are relatively cheap and are simple to use and can cut hours off of cooking. As for mac&cheese, doesn't matter to me. Sometimes we just feel like some mac&cheese and hotdogs or sloppy joes. And I love crackhead soup(look it up).

lacarnut
08-17-2010, 08:08 PM
DITTO. . .American Cheese is made from Jeneane Garofolo's effluence , it's so nasty.

~QC

I meant mild cheddar cheese. You are correct; sliced processed cheese is nasty.

Articulate_Ape
08-17-2010, 08:25 PM
I would submit that adult macaroni and cheese is, in fact, potatoes au gratin.:)

Rockntractor
08-17-2010, 08:30 PM
I would submit that adult macaroni and cheese is, in fact, potatoes au gratin.:)

Taters are better, the pasta is a girl thing.

SarasotaRepub
08-17-2010, 08:40 PM
I love mac and cheese. From a box or made from scratch, it just doesn't matter.

As long as it's made with Velvetta...I'll eat it everyday.

I bought some at BJ's when SLW was up in St. Louis. She had a fit. :D

Articulate_Ape
08-17-2010, 08:45 PM
As long as it's made with Velvetta...I'll eat it everyday.

I bought some at BJ's when SLW was up in St. Louis. She had a fit. :D

Velveeta? Ugh. What part of cheese do you not understand?

marv
08-17-2010, 09:02 PM
Taters are better, the pasta is a girl thing.

A girly thing?

Drain a 5oz can of chunk tuna (in water, not oil) into the water you cook the mac in. This adds more flavor. Cook according to the box. Then stir the drained tuna in with the milk, butter, and cheese packet into the drained mac. More protein and Omega-3 that way.

'Course you can also go the browned ground beef way, too.

But if you want taters, try this - but ONLY with instant mashed potatoes. I don't like instant mashed potatoes plain (they're tasteless), but this can't be made with normal mashed potatoes 'cause they don't get hot enough.

Add cubed cheddar to the water (skip the milk) along with the butter, and boil. Use about to by volume of the potato flakes.

Now Velveeta IS a girly thing!

Articulate_Ape
08-17-2010, 09:29 PM
Velveeta is toxic waste.

BSR
08-17-2010, 09:47 PM
We can afford to eat whatever we want now but we still love our mac n' cheese and Ramen. (when I choose to eat);)

How can that be? I hear Lane Bryant's has expensive clothes. You cant possibly living that good.

Kay
08-17-2010, 09:49 PM
VISUAL AID:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3014/2946559380_578d8fa495.jpg

BSR
08-17-2010, 09:49 PM
Velveeta is toxic waste.

http://i1004.photobucket.com/albums/af169/Dracobolt/Macros/shutyourwhoremouth.png

jendf
08-17-2010, 11:09 PM
VISUAL AID:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3014/2946559380_578d8fa495.jpg

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/7953/homerdroolb.jpg (http://img15.imageshack.us/i/homerdroolb.jpg/)

Shannon
08-17-2010, 11:13 PM
How can that be? I hear Lane Bryant's has expensive clothes. You cant possibly living that good.

I rarely choose to eat mac n' cheese so I do not have to shop at The Store for Fat People. Jackass.

Rockntractor
08-17-2010, 11:16 PM
A girly thing?



Now Velveeta IS a girly thing!

I knew I would get a rise out of somebody!:D

Calypso Jones
08-17-2010, 11:32 PM
boxed mac and cheese is so versatile too. You can do lots of things with it. Mix up a box of it, add a can of drained mixed veg, 1 can of cream of chick soup and i can drained tuna and you have a different taste with extra fiber and protein.

PoliCon
08-17-2010, 11:33 PM
boxed mac and cheese is so versatile too. You can do lots of things with it. Mix up a box of it, add a can of drained mixed veg, 1 can of cream of chick soup and i can drained tuna and you have a different taste with extra fiber and protein.

it's called tuna helper. :rolleyes:

Shannon
08-17-2010, 11:35 PM
boxed mac and cheese is so versatile too. You can do lots of things with it. Mix up a box of it, add a can of drained mixed veg, 1 can of cream of chick soup and i can drained tuna and you have a different taste with extra fiber and protein.

Nobody asked you.

marv
08-18-2010, 12:08 AM
I do a lot of different things with different boxed stuff. Once in a great while I even follow the box instructions........:p

I even do things with stuff in cans. Thinly slice 1lb of beef hotdogs and mix into two cans of pinto beans. Add 2 to 3 tbs of chili seasoning (I like Williams). Simmer. Quick and tasty. Lots of protein, fiber and vitamins.

RobJohnson
08-18-2010, 12:29 AM
VISUAL AID:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3014/2946559380_578d8fa495.jpg


I was trying to skip dinner after work. I think this picture just blew that idea. :mad::D

SarasotaRepub
08-18-2010, 07:01 AM
Velveeta is toxic waste.

It's a new food group!!!! :cool::D

Gingersnap
08-18-2010, 09:44 AM
I rarely choose to eat mac n' cheese so I do not have to shop at The Store for Fat People. Jackass.

I eat mac and cheese and I don't shop at Pounds 'R Us - of course, I don't eat it every day, either.

The boxed stuff is just awful. Poli is right, it's poverty food. It's so easy to make the real thing. Now, I will break ranks here and admit that adding about a half a cup of Velveeta to your real, shredded cheese does do something delicious. More than that would be wrong, of course. :)

FlaGator
08-18-2010, 10:13 AM
Velveeta is toxic waste.

It's good tasting toxic waste...

asdf2231
08-18-2010, 10:27 AM
As long as it's made with Velvetta...I'll eat it everyday.

I bought some at BJ's when SLW was up in St. Louis. She had a fit. :D

My Brutha from anotha Mutha!

Velvetta & Smoked Spam!

Somethings just go together naturally! :D

noonwitch
08-18-2010, 12:00 PM
My Brutha from anotha Mutha!

Velvetta & Smoked Spam!

Somethings just go together naturally! :D


When my mom made mac/cheese from scratch, my dad would always complain that there was no meat with dinner. So mom would slice up some spam, fry it for him and say, "here, this is almost meat".

SaintLouieWoman
08-18-2010, 09:53 PM
Velveeta? Ugh. What part of cheese do you not understand?

Exactly. Velveeta in the brick kept in the frig is bad enough. The processed in a bag stuff is worse.

SR bought a 5 pack of that nasty mix! :eek: I'm thinking of returning it to BJ's. I'd rather whip up a tasty real mac and cheese dish with real cheese and seasonings instead of that processed food mess.

Bubba Dawg
08-18-2010, 10:11 PM
Mac and Cheese. Ramen Noodles. Ambrosia. :)

fettpett
08-18-2010, 11:42 PM
Mac and Cheese. Ramen Noodles. Ambrosia. :)

um....now if they could be mixed together properly we'd have something.

Gingersnap
08-18-2010, 11:49 PM
um....now if they could be mixed together properly we'd have something.

A puke fest? Just askin'. :eek: