Betty Crocker Offers One-Step Macaroni and Cheese Kit

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Watch out Kraft "blue box" Macaroni and Cheese. You now have some powerful competition in the pasta dinner kit category. This is one of those "What took so long?" products, as the Kraft kit, which was introduced in 1937, has had limited competition from private label and natural product companies. Now, General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, is heating things up with the rollout of Betty Crocker Mac and Cheese in three varieties: Original, Cheese Pizza and Grilled Cheese.

In addition to the unique flavors, Betty Crocker Mac and Cheese is prepared quite differently from the Kraft product. It is a one-step process. The preparer combines one cup of water, one cup of milk and four tablespoons of butter or margarine with the sauce mix and uncooked pasta. The mixture is heated to a boil and, with frequent stirring, is ready to serve in about 12 minutes.

The Kraft kit requires two steps. First, one must cook and drain the pasta. This is followed by the addition of the other ingredients. The Betty Crocker "simply simmer and serve" version is described as delivering heartier elbow noodles in a creamier, more homemade-like cheese sauce.

The 5.6-oz. Betty Crocker "red box" retails for about $1.

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