PepsiCo will take aim at Kraft Mac & Cheese dominance this fall

Chester Cheetah is getting ready to throw some shade in his trademark sunglasses toward Kraft’s mascot-less mac and cheese franchise.

“We’ve announced we’re actually getting into the mac and cheese business. But we’re going to do it in a PepsiCo way. It’s going to be Cheetos mac and cheese with the comfort that Cheetos brings,” PepsiCo CFO Hugh Johnston said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.

The major product launch had not been previously reported. Johnston said the product — which will take aim at the category’s leader from Kraft — will be available in the early fall.

Cheetos mac and cheese comes as PepsiCo (PEP) continues to study new consumer behaviors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has led to a great re-birth of legendary packaged goods that had started to fall out of favor due to health concerns.

A semi-truck carrying Cheetos snacks on Interstate 75 outside of Woodhaven, Michigan. Cheetos are a snack food made by Pepsi subsidiary Frito-Lay.
A semi-truck carrying Cheetos snacks on Interstate 75 outside of Woodhaven, Michigan. Cheetos are a snack food made by Pepsi subsidiary Frito-Lay.

Explained Johnston, “Consumers have migrated back to large, trusted brands. There is confidence in the food safety and confidence in supply chains. So consumers have migrated back to that versus smaller brands. Eating from home is a strong trend, and that’s one we expect to continue. And e-commerce has been a significant beneficiary to this environment.”

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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