We Tried Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn And It Was Kind Of Disappointing

Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn
Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Since it was launched in 1937, Kraft Mac & Cheese, originally known as Kraft Dinners, has been a fan favorite, selling more than 8 million units in its initial year alone. It has only continued to dominate the market, bringing comfort food to the masses in countless iterations, from the classic blue box to exciting new products, like its latest collaboration with The Popcorn Factory. This new Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn is available just in time for adults and children alike to satisfy their summer beach trip, picnic, and barbecue snacking needs.

Each package of premium air-popped popcorn is encased in butter and sprinkled liberally with a decadent, bright, orange-hued, cheese-like powder designed to replicate the mac & cheese we all have fond memories of. Nostalgia alone should make this product a hit with those who have grown up eating the mac & cheese from the classic blue box, but I wanted to find out first-hand if this new popcorn is a revelation or a regret. Luckily, the folks at Kraft were kind enough to send me a bag, which I enthusiastically busted open to sample. Read on to get my full review and to find out where you can obtain your own package of this novel nosh.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer/distributor/etc.

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What Does Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn Taste Like?

Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn
Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Tossing the contents of the cheese packet contained in a box of store-bought mac and cheese onto popcorn is not a completely revolutionary idea. The notion has occurred to others, who quickly realized it could be a way of transforming even the healthiest of microwaveable popcorn into something special. That said, the idea of not having to fuss with combining the popcorn with the powder yourself, thus being left with a naked box of uncooked macaroni noodles, does have its appeal.

Upon opening the foil package of Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn, I was anticipating a more pungent aroma, reminiscent of what I experience when I bust open the packet in the blue box. This was not what I encountered. In fact, there wasn't much of a smell at all, which concerned me. I remained undeterred and dove into a handful of the amber-colored popcorn. The texture was a bit on the squishy side and a tad dry, rather than crunchy.

Things did not improve markedly in the flavor department. While the cheese-like powder was present, it felt muted. I was anticipating an intense burst of flavor, but the taste barely awoke my senses. There was only a hint of saltiness and very little of the umami-richness that I have come to associate with the classic blue box. The more I ate, the more disappointed I became, expecting the flavor to grow as I shoveled kernel after kernel of popcorn into my mouth.

Final Thoughts

Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn
Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn - Monika Sudakov/Daily Meal

Kraft Mac & Cheese Popcorn is available exclusively online at The Popcorn Factory for $4.49 per package, though they are sold in quantities of three packages per order for $19.99, plus tax. It is expected to be available at select retailers nationwide in the near future.

While this snack didn't live up to my expectations, it was not terrible, it was just underwhelming. In order for it to become my preferred nosh, it would need to have a more amplified flavor and a slightly firmer texture. I'd also want to purchase a single bag at a time, rather than a three-pack.

Honestly, if I want some creamy mac and cheese, I'll purchase a classic blue box or whip up my own. I'm particularly fond of this baked mac and cheese recipe with three kinds of fromage in it. And, if I want cheesy popcorn, I'll go the Barefoot Contessa route and toss some grated parmesan and chipotle powder on my microwave brand of choice.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.