Kraft Tells Kids and Adults Like to “Say Cheese!”

TakeAway: Kraft continues to build on the momentum of its Macaroni & Cheese , which is enjoying a sales boom as a result of consumers’ focus on economical comfort foods. 

The latest news is the rollout of a new logo and contemporized package designs featuring a “noodle smile” intended to elicit positive emotions and memories associated with the iconic, 73-year-old brand.

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Excerpted from Marketing Daily, “Kraft Mac & Cheese Gets New, Unified Look” By Karlene Lukovitz, Dec 6, 2010

The smile is the key element in a new, cross-portfolio visual identity. The new look began to appear on Kraft’s new Homestyle mac and cheese line and smaller-volume products within the brand’s portfolio over the summer, but is just starting to be seen on the flagship Blue Box line. The new package design will be fully rolled out by first-quarter 2011.

Both the noodle smile and its use as a unifying element in the logo now being used across the brand portfolio reflect consumer research. “Smiles, joy and happiness” were consumers’ key associations for the brand, and they also made it clear that in their minds, the three product lines then within the portfolio – Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, Deluxe and the microwaveable products originally named Easy Mac Cups – as a single mac and cheese brand.

“We had been treating them separately, but we recognized through consumers that there was a huge opportunity to accelerate the long-term, sustainable growth of this key Kraft brand by treating it as an iconic mega-brand,” said Kraft’s North America senior marketing director of meals.

In addition to the logo, this unified approach spurred a name change for the microwaveable cups, to Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Cups. Those products, launched in 2006, are now generating over $100 million in sales, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The consumer branding research also ultimately helped inform the current “You know you love it” integrated campaign that was launched in May and focuses on tapping the sales potential for adult consumption of the brand’s products.  The Homestyle line launched this past spring, which includes breadcrumbs and is more akin to the “home-made”-like mac and cheese versions served in restaurants, also emerged from this broadened strategy.

Edit by AMW

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