Turns Out, America Isn't the Boxed Mac & Cheese Capital of the World

Its main factory is working 24/7 to churn out enough boxes to meet surging demand in another country.

March 31, 2020
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Heinz Kraft Co. Kraft brand Macaroni & Cheese is arranged for a photograph in Dobbs Ferry, New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. Kraft Heinz Co. is releasing earnings figures on February 21. Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg

Photo by: Bloomberg/Getty

Bloomberg/Getty

Here’s one to add to your list of “Today I Learned:” Canadians eat more Kraft Mac & Cheese than Americans do. I know. Shocker!

We Americans tend to think of ourselves as pretty much owning cheesy comfort foods like macaroni and cheese as well as the convenience of boxed meals. But it turns out that Canadians are eating our lunch (along with our dinner) when it comes to Kraft.

Our neighbors up north eat an impressive 55 percent more Kraft Mac & Cheese – or Kraft Dinner, as they call it – annually than Americans do, according to a 2015 Global News report.

Given that, it may be somewhat less surprising that while U.S. Kraft Heinz factories are working overtime – three shifts a day! – to keep pace with skyrocketing consumer demand for shelf-stable staples like Kraft Mac & Cheese, the company’s main Canadian factory is working at least as hard, if not harder.

The Montreal factory, which produces about 90 percent of Canada’s total supply of Kraft Mac & Cheese, has ramped up from its usual five day per week production schedule to seven days a week. Its 960 employees have been working ’round-the-clock – yes, 24/7 – as well to boost output from 3 million to 4 million boxes per week in an effort to meet a 35 percent increase in demand in the past four weeks, CTV News reports.

Another outlet, the Financial Post, suggests sales of Kraft Mac & Cheese in Canada may have risen even more sharply, reporting that about 15 million boxes of the iconic pasta and powdered-cheese packets were sold in March, more than double the seven million boxes sold in each of the preceding months.

The plant’s manager, Danielle Nguyen, calls factory employees “true heroes” for showing up and working super hard.

“Everyone just feels very, very proud to be feeding 37 million Canadians,” she told CTV News.

Their dedication comes down to a sense of civic duty, Nguyen said.

“It’s a feeling that’s very hard to describe,” she told the Financial Post. “It feels like you’re serving your country.”

And you thought Canadians were all about smoked meat, poutine and thin bagels…

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