58 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Good... but no longer "the best",
Sometimes we buy products simply because we always have done so... in other words, "brand loyalty". Kraft has a very good and reliable name, and their macaroni and cheese dinner is a good product, and we still expect the best quality from them.... but Kraft has maintained the same standard in this product over the years while their smaller competitors have been changing for the better!
Because "Kraft dinner" got a little pricey over the past few years, (around a dollar a box nowadays, depending on where you buy it), I finally relented and tried an "off brand". I picked up a few boxes of "Our Specialty" brand at the local Dollar General store (total size = 7.25 ounce box. serving size, 2.5 oz. "Prepared" stats: 400 calories, 150 calories from fat, RDA sodium = 30%; 1% cholesterol; 17% total carbs) -- it was 33 cents per box and it simply tastes MUCH better than Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner. Also, the macaroni in the Our Specialty brand holds up better -- it's very tender but it doesn't go flat when you boil it like the Kraft does.
A good friend of mine recently re-confirmed my own findings when he said that he bought the brand which is sold at Meier's Stores (a big food chain) around Cincinnati, Ohio, and he experienced the very same results with their store brand.
So, maybe it's time that we took a look at more "off brands," clones, and generics. There are some really good smaller companies out there selling some very high-quality food products so don't be afraid to try them, especially when there is such a huge price difference!
I hope that you find this review/recommendation helpful.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 18, 2011 3:13:03 PM PDT
I'm very surprised by your comment. I had the old specialty brand and it doesn't taste that good. Maybe I need to try it again.
Posted on Apr 19, 2011 3:27:39 PM PDT
Ok having tried cooking them again I can now confirm Our specialty macoroni is garbage. I think its the cheese mix they give you. It has almost no flavour. I tried even use 2 packs of the mix with 1 portion of macoroni and it made no difference. Avoid our specialty macoroni if you care about food that at least tastes decent. If you just want to fill your stomach for cheap then I guess they are fine.
Posted on Feb 24, 2012 11:22:38 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 24, 2012 11:23:15 AM PST]
Posted on Mar 19, 2014 6:13:08 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 19, 2014 6:15:02 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2014 5:39:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2014 5:41:11 AM PDT
Patrick W. Crabtree says:
Hi, Wanderer! I guess there's a Jack for every Jenny, [in this case, it's me] but I definitely understand that you didn't like the flavor of the "Our Specialty" macaroni. Since I wrote this review three years back I have tried to monitor the Kraft Dinner prices -- they have been all over the place! There must be a huge mark-up on it since some stores seem to independently and periodically lower the price to compete with the generics. Their cheese does have a rich flavor, perhaps too rich for me. I think in all cases, the cheeses are heavily laden with chemicals that we would rather not be consuming but this is true of so many products that I feel forced to mostly ignore it.
I did get to re-try the Meier's brand and liked it a lot, in fact, best of all. One bad experience [and I wish I had noted the brand but, alas! I did not]: I got in the "dollar isle" of a local independent grocer where they had boxes of mac and cheese (same size as Kraft Dinner), two for a dollar. Well, I guess you get what you pay for [at least when you're lucky]. Both boxes had a great "sell by" date and they were crawling with bugs!
Oh, well! ;-D
In any case, thanks for your feedback.
Posted on Dec 16, 2014 10:02:57 AM PST
I think "Annie's" is definitely a tad better than Kraft, but considering it's a meal of last resort, it's not worth the extra cost. Wal Mart brand is awful, I think the Dollar General brand is just as gross--no amount of doctoring makes that stuff edible.
Posted on Jun 5, 2015 11:37:49 AM PDT
B. Morin says:
I'm not sure a comment from 2008 is valuable anymore. Kraft is removing the food coloring and I got to this comment by looking at Organic Mac n Cheese, certainly not the same as the dollar store. I'm originally from Canada and I can honestly say that when I moved here, Kraft Dinner was far superior to Kraft Mac n Cheese. Canada has many "off brands" but none of them have surpassed Kraft Dinner. If Kraft Food Group Inc in the USA continues down the path of better quality, the taste should keep improving. Let's remove these old comments because once the recipe changes, they aren't relevant.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2015 8:43:38 AM PDT
Well, it doesn't help that this stuff just jumped way up in price. But I swapped to store brand a while back- or at least the noodles and made my own cheese sauce instead.
Posted on Aug 29, 2015 6:20:28 AM PDT
Nancy Sherburne says:
Maybe my pallet is not as refined as those who disagree with Patrick on the matter of store brand versus Kraft. I live near Walmart and Fry's and buy both their store brands. I prefer Fry;'s because Kroger has white cheddar mac and cheese as well as regular that neither Kraft nor Walmart carry except Annie's which is made with shell noodles. Walmart also carried another brand and of course I forget the name that was better than the store brand and cheaper. Store brands are generally around 60 cents a box and well worth the price. The last time I bought this 15-pack I paid $12.49 for it. To pay over $28 for the same would be ridiculous so I will stick to the store brands, thank you.
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