NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Big changes are coming to an old familiar food. Kraft is changing the recipe of its popular macaroni and cheese.

For the better part of a century iconic blue boxes have been fixtures on grocery store shelves and kitchen pantries.

As CBS2s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Kraft macaroni and cheese, the original comfort food — the meal moms can whip up for less than $2 — is getting a healthy makeover.

“I think they’re keeping up with the times and it will be wonderful thing,” one Kraft fan said.

Synthetic coloring, artificial preservatives, and flavors are on the way out. New coloring will come from natural sources like paprika.

The Northfield, Illinois-based Kraft promises to continue to provide the same great taste that people know and love.

The company that also makes Kool-Aid and Velveeta said it wants people to “feel good about the foods they eat and serve their families.”

Health conscious shoppers at Holiday Farms in Roslyn are the kind of customers that Kraft is trying to win back.

“It’s not good for us, so take out preservatives. That’s one step to making it healthier,” one shopper said.

But, is messing with an American staple a good marketing tactic? Coca-Cola learned its lesson the hard way.

“There’s always a risk of it backfiring when you take any popular product and change some elements of it, but I have a feeling it’s going to succeed only because they direction that they’re going is the direction that a lot of consumer products are going anyway,” Ad Week editor Roberta Klara explained.

Kraft had some public pressure to change.

An online petition that garnered more than 360,000 signatures demanded that the company stop using dangerous food dyes in its American products. Now that petition is labelled ‘confirmed victory.’

The new healthier macaroni and cheese will hit store shelves in January. Kraft removed artificial flavors and colors in some of its products last year.

 

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs

Watch & Listen LIVE