Changes coming to Kraft's original mac and cheese

CHAMPAIGN--Changes are coming to Kraft's Original Macaroni and Cheese recipe, and they'll be happening inside the company's Champaign facility.

Kraft's classic macaroni and cheese is getting a makeover.

The food company is scrapping the artificial preservatives and synthetic dyes that make the cheesy golden color found inside the familiar blue boxes.

By the end of the year, the recipe for Kraft's Original Mac and Cheese-which is produced in its Champaign facility-will call for natural alternatives, like paprika, annatto, and turmeric, instead.

"I think it's a good decision," said Kraft customer, Greg Koerner. "I mean, the more organic that we can get and the healthier, I think it's a great idea from Kraft."

A petition that began in March of 2013 asking Kraft to use natural ingredients gathered more than 365,000 signatures of support.

In 2015, the company launched its first foray into a more organic product: eliminating the preservatives and dyes in it's Boxed Shapes line.

"I assume that it's trying to be more health conscious to consumers and their audience," said customer Heather Miller. "And it will probably reach out to moms that are concerned about those types of things."

For loyal customers, the change means little.

"We'll continue to buy Kraft products," said Koerner.

"I will continue to buy it just because I felt it was safe to begin with," said Miller.     

The original Mac and Cheese with the new recipe will hit all shelves across the country by January 2016.

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