KANSAS CITY — The Kraft Heinz Co. is leveraging its legacy brands to fuel innovation in 2019. The company is seeking to refresh these brands by incorporating trending flavors and ingredients into such mainstay brands as Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Kool-Aid and Lunchables.
Catering to consumers adding more plant-based protein into their diets, Kraft Heinz in July debuted Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner White Bean. The dish features white bean added to the pasta to deliver nine grams of protein per serving.
Kraft Heinz also embraced the stealth health movement of sneaking vegetables into popular foods by introducing Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner with Cauliflower. The product adds cauliflower to the pasta to provide ¼ cup of vegetables per serving. The cauliflower blended pasta comes in original and white cheddar varieties.
Cauliflower also crops up in new products released under the O, That’s Good! brand, part of a joint venture between Kraft Heinz and Oprah Winfrey that debuted in 2017. In July, the brand expanded its line of pizzas featuring crust partially made with cauliflower. The new additions include BBQ Chicken, Margherita and White.
Also launched in July were O, That’s Good! frozen skillet meals, featuring sauces partially made with vegetables. In the chicken alfredo and Southwest style chicken and penne meals, some of the cream in the sauce was replaced with pureed cauliflower. Red peppers and carrots are incorporated into the sauces of the chicken margherita, three cheese tortellini and Italian sausage and rigatoni skillet meals.
“We are welcoming our consumers back to the comfort food they love with a unique twist of veggies and high-quality ingredients,” said Christopher Urban, head of Mealtime Stories at Kraft Heinz. “We’re excited to enter the skillet category with O, That’s Good! and make dinner delicious and easy.”
Kraft Heinz also keyed in on the sour flavors trend with its new Kool-Aid brand offering. Kool-Aid Sour Jammers are available in five fruit flavors: Snappin’ Green Apple, Shockin’ Blue Raspberry, Electric Lemon Lime, Watermelon Slam and Zappin’ Tropical Punch.
“We know that kids love sour flavors, but there’s never been a sour beverage for kids available, until now,” said Rachel Drof, marketing director of beverages for Kraft Heinz. “Kool-Aid is all about bringing unexpected fun to fans everywhere, and we can’t wait until fans taste the sour twist on the Kool-Aid classics.”
To add a fresh spin to its Lunchables brand, Kraft Heinz played into the breakfast snacks trend by launching Lunchables Brunchables in April. Featuring items such as breakfast flatbreads, ready-to-eat bacon strips and miniature blueberry muffins, the snack packs are the brand’s first foray into breakfast. Lunchables Brunchables varieties include bacon and cheese, ham and cheese, and sausage and cheese.
“Lunchables always likes to excite adults and kids alike with options that bring mixed-up fun to lunchtime, and we wanted to extend that mission to breakfast,” said Zach Meyers, director of marketing for Kraft Heinz. “For years we’ve seen fans ask whether or not Lunchables would create a breakfast version. We’re excited to finally unveil Brunchables, an exciting new choice at breakfast that helps start kids’ days off right.”