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• The other day, MNB took note of a Chicago Sun Times report that Kraft's Macaroni & Cheese, a product that drives more than $500 million in annual sales, has seen its market share drop from 82 percent three years ago to 78 percent in March - because, while the product is "a favorite among picky young kids, cash-strapped college students and adults wanting a comfort food," the brand is taking a hit "as people hunt for healthier versions."

Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that Kraft is making changes in another of its longtime staple products - Philadelphia Cream Cheese. According to the story, "Kraft Foods Group Inc. has changed its packaging design from those familiar circular tubs to an oblong container it hopes will keep its label facing front so shoppers can better see it on store shelves.

"And for the first time since the spreads' introduction in 1982, Kraft is making significant changes to its recipe, hoping to appeal to increasingly health-conscious shoppers. It is adding more fruit and vegetables and reducing artificial flavors and colors in some varieties."

"Freshly made and simple ingredients are becoming primary purchase drivers," says Kraft CEO Tony Vernon. "There is a cultural shift at work here."

• Family Dollar said yesterday that "it is introducing more than 400 new food items in each of its more than 8,000 stores across the country," as well as lowering the prices on more than 1,000 branded items in a multitude of segments.
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