The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Kraft Foods Removing Dyes From Kid-Friendly Mac And Cheese Products

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Nov 1, 2013 3:30PM

Photo via Shutterstock.

Kraft Foods announced Thursday it would stop adding bright artificial dyes to three of the company’s macaroni and cheese products beginning next year. For consumers concerned about the ingredients corporations like Kraft add to their food it’s a start in the right direction.

Kraft will remove the petroleum-based dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 from the kid-friendly SpongeBob Squarepants, Halloween and “winter shapes” varieties of macaroni and cheese and will replace them with “spices such as paprika for coloring.” The move won’t extend to Kraft’s classic elbow-shaped mac and cheese products; after a lifetime of ingesting artificial dyes we adults are already lost causes.

Kraft’s vice president of marketing for meals Triona Schmelter wouldn’t say if the company would remove the dyes from other products in the future but noted they already offer mac and cheese options that only use natural colors. It’s all part of Kraft’s continuing efforts to improve the kid-friendly products’ nutritional profiles.

"We'll continue to make improvement where we can," Schmelter said, noting that the company tries to cater to evolving customer preferences.

Schmelter wouldn’t acknowledge whether Kraft’s announcement was in response to a petition on that to date has garnered over 348,000 signatures based on a mix of half-truths, junk science and legitimate concerns over where our food comes from. Corporations like Kraft and PepsiCo have announced ingredient changes to brands in their portfolios as consumers have become better educated about what’s in their products.

Not letting the opportunity go to waste, Kraft will release two new kid-friendly shapes next year.