NotCo and Kraft Heinz Unveil Plant-Based NotMac&Cheese

NotCo and Kraft Heinz Unveil Plant-Based NotMac&Cheese

The new Kraft NotMac&Cheese is free from artificial dyes and made with fava bean protein and coconut oil powder. Photo courtesy of The Kraft Heinz Not Company.

Since its debut in 1937, Kraft Mac & Cheese has become a beloved fixture in American homes. Known for its easy-to-prepare blue box meals, Kraft Mac & Cheese sells over one million boxes daily. This culinary icon is so ingrained in North American culture that it’s even dubbed Canada’s unofficial national dish. Now, in an era where dairy alternatives are soaring in popularity, Kraft Mac & Cheese is getting a plant-based makeover.

As a collaborative effort between The Kraft Heinz NotCo. and TheNotCompany, Inc., initiated in 2022, the launch of Kraft NotMac&Cheese marks a strategic move to tap into the expanding market of healthier macaroni and cheese products. The initial offerings include two varieties: Kraft NotMac&Cheese Original and Kraft NotMac&Cheese White Cheddar.

This plant-based iteration, a first in the US, leverages NotCo’s AI-driven technology. This tech, named Giuseppe, crafts plant-based substitutes indistinguishable from their animal-based counterparts. Lucho Lopez-May, CEO of The Kraft Heinz NotCo, emphasized the company’s commitment to creating plant-based versions of favorite foods without compromising on taste or familiarity.

Related: 3 New Additions to the Plant-Based Cream Cheese Market

What is Kraft NotMac&Cheese?

Kraft NotMac&Cheese is a fresh take on the classic blue box, responding to the booming demand for plant-based options. Kraft mentioned in a press release that currently, less than 30 percent of customers make repeated purchases of plant-based mac and cheese alternatives, mainly due to issues with taste and texture. 

Nevertheless, The Kraft Heinz NotCo is confident that its new Kraft NotMac&Cheese, free from artificial dyes and made with fava bean protein and coconut oil powder, will not only preserve but enhance the brand’s legacy with its creamy, dairy-free alternative.

As consumer preferences evolve, Kraft Heinz stays ahead by continuously innovating. The company recognized a long-standing consumer demand for a plant-based version of its mac and cheese in the US. Hence, the new Kraft NotMac&Cheese is set to hit stores nationwide, completing its rollout by early 2024.

But the 85-year-old brand is not without competition. Newer companies like Goodles, a startup supported by actress Gal Gadot, offer boxed pasta that boasts higher protein and fiber content but at a premium price. Goodles also includes a plant-based mac and cheese in its product range. Other brands like Banza, Daiya and Annie’s are also offering comparable products.

More From Kraft Heinz and NotCo

NotCo’s partnership extends beyond mac and cheese. Kraft Heinz and NotCo have also transformed other iconic Kraft products. Before venturing into mac and cheese, Kraft Heinz released Kraft NotCheese Slices and NotMayo, expanding its plant-based portfolio. This joint venture signifies Kraft Heinz’s commitment to sustainable, ethical and plant-based food options.

In addition to this venture, Kraft Heinz is growing its plant-based offerings worldwide. In Australia, a vegan Kraft Mac & Cheese has been available for years, and a plant-based Philadelphia cream cheese recently launched in the US. 

Kraft is also running a contest until December 15, inviting fans to suggest new mac and cheese flavors, possibly paving the way for more vegan options like Kraft NotMac&Cheese.

The Kraft Heinz NotCo’s mission is clear: make plant-based eating irresistible, accessible and enjoyable. With plans to expand globally in 2024, this collaboration could significantly impact the plant-based food industry.