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Kraft introduces new mac and cheese option without the cheese

Kraft Heinz's newest macaroni and cheese product resembles the brand's classic creamy comfort food but for one key difference: It doesn't contain cheese.

The food and beverage giant is rolling out "Kraft NotMac&Cheese," a vegan mac and cheese that uses a plant-based sauce, the company announced Wednesday. The dairy-free product will come in two flavors — original and white cheddar — and will cost $3.49 a box when it hits store shelves beginning this month. 

Kraft Heinz partnered with TheNotCompany, a plant-based food technology company, to craft its vegan take on the pantry staple. The product's sauce is made from fava bean protein and coconut oil powder. It is Kraft Heinz's third non-dairy offering after its NotCheese Slices and NotMayo, which hit store shelves this year. 

The new product comes as consumers increasingly embrace plant-based snacks and other seemingly healthier food alternatives. Sales of plant-foods rose to $8 billion in 2022, up 44.5% from three years ago, according to data from Plants Based Foods Association, a food trade group. 

Worldwide, 42% of consumers believe most people will substitute plant-based foods for meat in the next decade, a 2022 survey from research firm GlobeScan and non-profit organization EAT shows

Pinky Cole on the success of her Slutty Vegan fast food chain 04:24

According to consumer insights firm Numerator, less than 30% of dairy-free mac & cheese buyers repeat their purchases due to being dissatisfied with the flavor and texture of the products they purchased. 

Other food companies are also hopping on the dairy-free bandwagon. In April, cheese maker Babybel said it would introduce a vegan version of its popular white cheddar cheese snack after debuting its first dairy-free cheese in 2022. And cream cheese maker Philadelphia this summer rolled out a plant-based version nationwide. 

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