We Told Kraft What We Want Now, It’s Your Turn

kraft goody box

Do I have your attention?  Wipe the drool off your keyboard, I’ll wait 🙂

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to accompany some amazing women to the Kraft Kitchens in Chicago

kraft building

That building up there.. Massive.  The building behind it that houses the Kitchens and the Kraft Store.. BEYOND AWESOME! The day that we were there, they were out back barbecuing for all the employees.. I seriously want to work there.  Just walking around the building makes you hungry and happy, all at the same time.

We got to tour the kraft kitchens, you can see most of my pictures in my Kraft Flickr Stream, there are some great pictures of our day.  We got to cook in the Kraft Kitchens WITH the ACTUAL Kraft Test Kitchen Chefs.  Amazingly fun, unbelievable experience doesn’t even begin to touch it.  I felt like a kid let loose in FAO Schwarz or Dylan’s Candy Bar.  It was a really neat thing to see that their pantry is stocked with Kraft foods (obviously) but also with the same NON Kraft products that you can find in any mom’s or dad’s pantry.  They are really dedicated to being accessible with their recipes and making foods that anyone can make with the same ingredients that you have on hand every day.

We got split into groups to work at the different stations and created yummy, easy dishes  like these unbelievably nomalicious appetizers:

Kraft appetizers

I have no idea what was in them but they were insanely delicious. And YES, that is wine you see back there.  They paired each appetizer with a wine to complement it. SCORE! 🙂

One of the highlights of the trip for me, was that after we had played and eaten and chatted, the team from Edelman and some of the people from Kraft came and sat in a room with us and they did the most spectacular thing.  They asked us to tell them how they can help us, what we, as parents, would like to see from them as a company.  What do we want in their online forums? What do we want from their food, products etc… and then.. the most amazing thing happened.  They shut their mouths and they listened.

They didn’t pitch to us. They didn’t put on a big shiny, sparkly show.  There weren’t any special effects or attempts to distract us with NEWER BIGGER BETTER!!!! And I appreciated that.  They simply sat around a table with us, pens in hand, video camera rolling and they listened. And Boy, did we have a lot to say.

Here’s the thing.  I have been very lucky in the opportunities that have come my way, such as this one.  Not everyone gets these opportunities.

I wanna know.. if it had been you in that room, what would you have told Kraft?

Tell me in the comments and on Tuesday (Sept 22nd at 10PM CST), I’m going to use to pick a commenter and that commenter is going to win a box FULL of KRAFT GOODIES!!!! Like all that stuff pictured up there!!!! PLUS ~ you’ll get an envelope full of coupons for even MORE KRAFT GOODIES!!!!!

1 comment = 1 entry

For a bonus entry:

Tweet this contest and leave the Tweet URL in another comment.

SIDE NOTE: if you have an iPhone.. you HAVE to download the iFood assistant from Kraft.  It’s 99 cents and it is amazing.. it gives you access to recipe, cooking videos and will even create an itemized shopping list for you! I LOVE mine!!!

Kraft iFood Assistant_1253301768060

email me your address so we can get it right out to you!!!

RANDOM.ORG - Integer Generator_1253713506125

We Told Kraft What We Want Now, It’s Your Turn_1253713375104

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  1. I use Kraft ingredients a lot. I’d love to learn more ways to use Velveeda cheese! I think it’s also important for Kraft to focus on the food groups and tell us healthy additions that include veggies, dairy, and fruit. Right on the box! Mmmm! Thanks for the giveaway. What household wouldn’t love to win that puppy? 🙂
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..[Re]Launch Is Soon! =-.

  2. BOLD, CLEAR notices when a product is produced in a facility that also contains peanuts and tree nuts. Particularly on sweets/cookies.

    BOLD, CLEAR notices when a product is PEANUT AND NUT FREE.

    Thanks for the giveaway, Rachel!
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..Girl Talk Thursday – panties, the spice of life =-.

  3. I would love to have opportunity to meet with Kraft the way you did. My blog is tiny and without the admin tools, it doesn’t come up in search engines, which I like. It’s not fancy and my only “regular readers” are family who don’t live nearby. Again, I like it that way. But they wouldn’t get any advertising from me reviewing or blogging about them, which is exactly what they are looking for from mom-bloggers. It’s free for them; they get to ask what we want without paying for a focus group, and it’s a plug – whether you intend it as such or not. They do. Their marketing folks are smart. I used to work in marketing and merchandising, so I know how they think.

    That being said, Rachel, I am NOT bashing you in any way for participating in the kitchen expedition. I’ll say it again, I wish I had that same opportunity. Just don’t be fooled by their motivation. Are you forwarding the opinions and suggestions on to them? If not, why ask us? So, I hope you are and I hope they listen.

    People are busy in 2009. We want healthier foods that don’t take forever to prepare. I love to make stuff without the packages, but sometimes I need that convenience. Leave out the corn syrup – of all kinds, remove the artificial sweeteners of all kinds, go more natural and use real herbs and seasonings rather than msg and other “flavor enhancers” that are unhealthy and just make people hungrier. (Hungrier = eating more = buying more of their products.) Stop trying to save a buck on production and make bigger bucks on the product. Use real foods in the stuff sold as “food.” That’s real customer service and a thest way to win a loyal customer.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share my opinion. I hope it wasn’t just for your viewing pleasure. 😉
    .-= Chick Hatchers´s last blog ..Watch this! =-.

    1. Hi C.H. ~ I am in no way naive and while I did get more than “just” a trip.. for me, the experience, the friends that I got to connect with are for me, priceless. I think that it’s more than just a free focus group for them but, that’s just my opinion 😉 The people who worked in the Kitchen were so excited to have us there, I’m not actually sure who had more fun, them or us. Their excitement was genuine and catching. It was a truly wonderful afternoon and I have been in contact with several of them since then. 🙂

      I’m glad that you stopped in to give your opinion and I appreciate that you did it with such class and politeness.

      I have given BOTH the PR team and Kraft the heads up about this post and I plan to compile every response and comment and send them to BOTH Kraft and Edelman for their viewing.

      I do nothing without purpose. If this had merely been for my viewing pleasure, I would have just had people leave any comment at all for an entry. I am truly curious as to what other people would have said and, I do honestly believe, that Kraft and other companies, are too.

      once again, Thank You.. and Good Luck in the Contest!!!

  4. I would tell them that I love the Kraft Food & Family magazine that comes to my house for free. As a mom that works outside the home (and has a one hour commute home) I love having tools that make it easy for me to prepare relatively quick, tasty and generally healthy meals for my family.
    I’d say to keep that kind of thing coming.
    .-= WM´s last blog ..Oh Hai…I are back. Sort of… =-.

  5. I would say that I want more foods that are free of dyes and HFCS. I am a label reader and we actually stopped buying Kraft Mac-n-Cheese b/c of the dyes. But, still, I want to prepare things on the fly sometimes. It would be nice to have stuff in my pantry that is dye/icky-word free.

    Oh and, I absolutely LIVE with four bottles of Kraft Blue Cheese Roka in my pantry. But, I would LOVE to have the option to buy that restaurant style blue cheese that is served in restaurants.
    .-= Secret Agent Mama´s last blog ..An Open Apology =-.

  6. I’m with Brittany. Fudge bites = Bliss

    Also though, as a mother to a child with a peanut allergy, I agree with Maria. The labeling needs to be bolder and more eye catching so we don’t spend 5 minutes looking for the warning.

    Those appetizers look amazing!
    .-= Shauna´s last blog ..THIS. Is your uterus. THIS. is your uterus in the garbage bin. And other life lessons. =-.

  7. It was so much fun meeting you in Chicago Rachel. Let me guess, you opened the box of Coconut Lime cookies first?

    We have so many Kraft ingredients (not prepackage meals) in Canada. I think they’re doing a pretty good job. I love the peanut butter, the large blocks of cheese, the back to nature nuts, balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, miracle whip.

    I’d love to see the iPhone app available to Canadians.

    I’d like to see all manufacturers of all things reduce packaging. It must be hard for food manufactures though, they have to put so much info on the package. In Canada, they have to get all that info in two languages, no wonder the darn boxes are so BIG.

    I am giving away my Kraft Gift Package as well.

  8. What a fun opportunity.

    If I could honestly say something, I would request more coupons of value or more competitive pricing. Some of their brand items cost substationally more than others. Since we’re being honest:)
    .-= Krystyn´s last blog ..Getting personal =-.

  9. I would love for food companies to stop peddling food as “healthy” when it clearly isn’t. Saying whole grains when it is filled with a bunch of junk doesn’t make it healty. Saying low fat and then dumping a bunch of imitation sweeteners and HFCS in it doesn’t make it healty. Let’s just be honest in our labeling. I will buy unhealthy food occasionally just because I want some, but I don’t want to be told it is healthy when it is not.
    .-= The Diaper Diaries´s last blog ..Frugal Friday- Aldi =-.

  10. I.LOVE.KRAFT!! Seriously, I am totally addicted to their Velveeta Shells and Cheese and could it eat every night of the week! I guess if they needed to change anything…more healthier options? Slightly lower prices? They’re doing an AWESOME job already though…and I would so love to win!! 🙂
    .-= Emily Kay´s last blog ..Schedules and Struggles =-.

  11. I like the magazine a lot – i’m drawn to food pictures and so I try a lot of things based on the pictures.

    Also, I’m kind of psyched about the iphone app – i’ll have to check that out… because, y’know, if i can do it on my phone it’s a lot more fun.

  12. I love the Kraft magazine… the recipes are simple and delicious! I’d like downloadable shopping lists – recipes with corresponding coupons – food challenges/contests. And always more coupons for new products or a rewards program for entering UPC codes.

  13. I think it would be nice to see Kraft work on ways to help combine their products with local farmstands & produce to create a symbiotic relationship. So many Kraft recipes would be great pairings with the best seasonal produce. Fresher ingredients are going to make better foods – everyone wins! Having recipes developed and distributed in a way that supports regional markets… It would be nice.

  14. I love that they, as you said, “Shut up and listened”. Thats’ the best way to get feedback! If I were there I would have asked for kid portion sizes on the boxes. We are teaching our kids about servings right now, and kid servings are NOT as big as adult servings. I know the USRDA is all they are required to do – but if they could go above and beyond and list the child-sized servings so we can teach our kids better about how much to eat, I would be extremely impressed.

  15. Less salt in the packaged foods and NEVER EVER CHANGE THE MAYO.
    .-= Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last blog ..This? Is not OK: Equal Opportunity for My TV-Watching Experience! =-.

  16. Yep, I agree…less icky stuff like high fructose corn syrup and more stuff that’s natural and real and healthy, but without taking away the “quick and easy” part. What a cool thing, for you to be able to go and hang out with them…I’m totally jealous!!
    .-= Bunchy´s last blog ..16 Years =-.

  17. I would ask Kraft about other healthy alternatives. I would express my desire to have a line of Gluten Free foods that are clearly marked, packaged, and manufactured gluten free. (there are more and more of us out there who require GF products, my son is one of them).
    Get rid of what is not necessary by way of fillers and non-organic or healthy additives.

    On the flip side I would also tell them that Kraft has become a household name that we can trust. It does stand for quality that has stood the test of time. The times they are a changing, and with that, organic, gluten free, additive free foods are what the folks are looking for.
    Thanks to Kraft for all they do “behind the scenes” too, without fanfare they do indeed reach out and make a difference.
    .-= LiveLaughLoveCj´s last blog ..Harry Connick Jr., CD "Your Song" Review & GIVEAWAY =-.

  18. Everyone has such legitimate comments for Kraft, I’m almost embarrassed to add mine. I know my husband would love to have his question answered, though, so I’m commenting for him. My dear husband has consumed enought Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in his lifetime to have probably paid for that beautiful building in your picture, Rachel! He was making his own Kraft mac-n-cheese by the time he was 8. So the guy knows his mac-n-cheese. A couple of months ago he opened up a box of the tried-and-true original elbow Kraft mac-n-cheese and I heard an audible gasp. He swears that they’ve changed the length of the elbow noodles by a few millimeters. And he’s not happy. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. So if I were sitting in the room with the people from Kraft? I’d ask them if the Great Noodle-Lengthening Conspiracy of 2009 was real or imagined.
    .-= Angie @ Just Like The Number´s last blog ..Ohio =-.

  19. I’m glad you had such a good time.
    I know space is limited on packaging, but I’d love to see the the ingredients and nutritional information large enough to READ…some products are tough.
    I would also love to see more packs in the 100 calorie snacks. Wait that defeats the purpose? right? We go through the box too fact with a family of 4.
    .-= Linney´s last blog ..Marshalls and TJMaxx keeps her back to school stylish =-.

  20. What a fun thing to see the Kraft kitchens! I would love to see more natural ingredients and healthy meal starters. There is a place in my pantry for indulgences so everything doesn’t have to be whole grain and healthy but it doesn’t have to be filled with chemicals.
    .-= Michelle Smiles´s last blog ..Soggy =-.

  21. What I’d really love to do is thank Kraft on my daughter’s behalf for coming out with Easy Mac in awesome animal shapes! We love it!
    .-= liv´s last blog ..coming around again… =-.

  22. I would tell them that even though I’m not a mom, I love using Kraft products as much as I can. I think I might have lived solely off of Shells and Cheese in college. I’d like to see more natural ingredients that I can pronounce as well as more recipes and tips suggested for smaller families of 2 people. I hate to waste leftovers because they rarely get eaten in my house and cutting recipes down to feed 2 people just never comes out quite right.
    .-= Alisha´s last blog ..My Buddy, My Buddy =-.

  23. I would have told them please use less chemicals, preservatives,sodium etc. even if its just little by little until hopefully one day our children wont ever have to eat any at all.

  24. WOWEEE!! What an AWESOME prize!!!! I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win this! Kraft has some yummy products! Sign me up for sure!!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  25. Thank you, sweetie, for this chance to win! We are Kraft lovers and would fall on this box like raving wolverines. It will not be pretty. I will make sure to take pictures.
    .-= Anissa´s last blog ..Rambling is an art, right? =-.

  26. I would tell them that I would like the food ot be healthier, not just claim to be, but to really BE healthier, less fat, less sodium, less unhealthy carbs. I want to feel good about what I feed my family.

  27. I want healthier foods, less chemicals and preservatives, more nutrients.
    And one more thing….I want a job at Kraft Kitchens! ;o)
    .-= dysfunctional mom´s last blog ..Motivating & Meatless Monday, with a Weekend WrapUp on the Side =-.

  28. I want the artificial coloring, HFCS and preservatives out! We love Kraft and would buy more products if they took these steps!

    tuesdayef at aol dot com
    .-= tuesday´s last blog ..Nine =-.

  29. I would have told them to do away with the hydrogenated oils. I won’t buy products with them any more. I am also now looking at Palm oils and of course the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. Aim for lower sodium, we all have too much of that in our diets. Salt does not equal flavor!

  30. I have to echo the lower sodium. I have high blood pressure, studies show hypertension affects 1 in 4 US adults! That’s 25% of the adult population! Kraft should figure out how to have tasty, healthy food if they really want to be a company that is relevant to society’s needs. Whole grains are great, but not with heart-attack inducing levels of sodium. Cheese is high in sodium anyway, then they add more??
    .-= Terri Kelley´s last blog ..tkharmonic: @turbotax A much deserved win! Congratulations TurboTax!… =-.

  31. Yeah, I’m droolin’ over here for sure!

    I would have told them to keep up the good work by giving us lots of recipes that transform old favorites into quick & easy using their products to save time and steps. That’s one of my favorite things about Kraft! You can get pretty darned to “homemade” with a few tweaks from Kraft products.
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Mary’s Basic Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup =-.

  32. SHUT UP!


    .-= Loralee´s last blog ..A letter on a day that never, ever gets easier. =-.

  33. Just wanted to say that was one of the BEST BOXES OF YUMMY GOODIES EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It seriously made a hideous week SO MUCH BETTER!!!!

    (I’m munching down one of the coconut lime cookies. MMM…nom, nom, nom!)
    .-= Loralee´s last blog ..Sick =-.

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