Kraft Foods, a household name, has a history full of unexpected twists and fun facts. Here are ten tidbits that might give you a fresh perspective on this familiar brand.
1. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, a family favorite, made its debut during the Great Depression in 1937. With the promise of serving a family of four for a mere 19 cents, it flew off the shelves. In the first year alone, 8 million boxes were sold.
2. The brand’s boxed mac and cheese gained even more popularity during World War II. Thanks to a surplus of cheese, rationing rules allowed people to purchase two boxes for a single ration point.
3. The term “American Cheese” originally referred to a type of cheddar cheese, aptly named American or Yankee Cheddar, that was exported back to England by 1790. However, when James L. Kraft patented a method for manufacturing processed cheese in 1916, the term “American Cheese” was co-opted for Kraft’s processed version.
4. Grey Poupon mustard, a Kraft product in the U.S., owes its moniker to Maurice Grey and Auguste Poupon, the French partners who began producing the condiment in 1866.
5. Canadians hold a particular fondness for Kraft Dinner (Mac and Cheese). It has the distinction of being the most popular grocery item in the country and is considered a national dish.
6. Kraft Foods has ingeniously repurposed old mines in Springfield, MO, creating an expansive underground truck warehouse known as Kraft Caves.
7. Kraft Singles, often considered a staple for sandwiches, are not technically classified as “cheese.” Instead, they must be marketed as a “cheese product.”
8. A crucial factor in James L. Kraft‘s success in building his empire was his innovative approach to cheese packaging, making it easy to slice.
9. Kraft Foods was a subsidiary of Altria, formerly known as Philip Morris, the cigarette company, from 1988 to 2007.
10. In the UK, Kraft’s famous Mac & Cheese carries a warning label regarding possible effects on children’s behavior. This warning is due to the so-called “Southampton Six,” a group of food colorants associated with hyperactivity in children. Parents are alerted to the possible behavioral impacts, which is an important consideration for many families.