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CHICAGO — Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is changing its name after 85 years.
The household staple is now called Kraft Mac & Cheese, which is "meant to reflect the way fans organically talk about the brand," the company announced Wednesday. Packaging featuring the new name will hit shelves in August.
Along with the shortened name, shoppers will notice the box receiving a subtle makeover that includes a refreshed logo, typography and single-hue blue that "amplifies the brand's most recognizable asset — the noodle smile."
Kraft said the new name and box are part of an effort to rebrand its mac & cheese as "comfort food." That distinction helps it differentiate from healthier products eating up shelf space. Goodles, for example, is a Gal Gadot-backed startup that sells boxed macaroni and cheese with more protein and fiber at a higher price. Banza and Annie's also make similar products that market themselves as more wholesome than Kraft's version.
Kraft's mac & cheese affordability has also taken a hit recently. Dozens of its products got price hikes in recent months, including a 3.5% increase on a pack of EZ Mac and a 20% price hike for a 7.25-ounce dish of Kraft Big Bowl Macaroni and Cheese.
Strong demand, supply constraints and uncertainty increased input costs for Kraft, the company said in a letter to suppliers, adding that the "upward trend in packaging, transportation, ingredients and labor costs persists, reaching levels not seen in decades." Those higher costs led to the company's decision to raise prices.
Kraft Heinz Co. stock is up about 1% for the year.