There have been plenty of good food news announcements lately. Manufacturers appear to be responding positively to consumer voices are making the kinds of significant changes that may very well change the existing view of brands and manufacturers alike. It’s exciting to see companies actively making the kinds of adjustments to their products that can have real effects on the health and well-being of millions of consumers.
This week, we can add another product from Kraft that the company is scheduling for a healthier make-over: Kraft singles. Cheese products are among those that instantly come to mind when you ask consumers what categories in which they are likely to find unhealthy ingredients. That’s understandable, since that’s how the products are actually referred to – “cheese product,” instead of cheese. Consumers have taken the “heads up” from the term.
But now Kraft says that it is removing artificial preservatives from its most popular Singles cheese product variety. The change will affect Kraft Singles in the full-fat American and White American varieties. According to Kraft, these varieties account for the majority of sales for the brand. Sorbic acid is being replaced by natamycin, which Kraft sys is a “natural mold inhibitor.
While Kraft hasn’t acknowledged that it’s decision is due to a growing number of Americans paying closer attention to what they eat and wanting to know that their foods contain natural ingredients, it’s a good bet that this is what’s motivating the news.
The ingredients used in Kraft Singles, prior to this change have been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. But, even so, putting out a product that is free of artificial preservatives is a definite selling point for any manufacturer. Kraft, for example, plans to begin airing TV ads near the end of February touting that its Kraft Singles cheese product “begins with milk” and are now “made with no artificial preservatives.”
The ads show cartoon cows grazing in a pasture, with a milk truck driving past.
The new Kraft packages, which began appearing on supermarket shelves in recent weeks, also come stamped with a red circle noting they have no artificial preservatives or flavors. Kraft says its Singles haven’t used artificial flavors for many years, but that it just recently decided to advertise that aspect of the product.
“Consumers are looking for those less artificial cues and messages,” said Gavin Schmidt, manager of cheese research and development at Kraft. “Those messages are more meaningful to consumers than they have been in the past.”
Schmidt says the change took about five years to perfect because Kraft wanted to ensure the product’s taste and shelf life remained the same. He declined to provide details, but said it wasn’t as simple as swapping out an artificial preservative and replacing it with a natural one.
Schmidt said Kraft is testing the removal of artificial preservatives from its other Kraft Singles varieties, but that it wanted to start with the most popular lines first. The changes do not affect Kraft Singles that are 2 percent milk, fat-free or other full-fat varieties.
Even so, FoodFacts.com wants to acknowledge this move by Kraft Foods to keep their customers happy and provide a healthier, better product. We hope that other manufacturers take note and that this trend continues. While it isn’t likely to happen any decade soon, we’d love to reach the day that artificial ingredients aren’t showing up on ANY ingredient labels for ANY products in our grocery stores. Until that day, we’ll just keep spreading the good food news wherever we find it!