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Moms Lash Out At Kraft Over ‘Send Noods’ Marketing Campaign For ‘Sexualizing’ Mac & Cheese

Kevin Schafer/Contributor/GettyImages

Kraft Heinz was accused of sexualizing mac ‘n’ cheese with their now-expired “Send Noods” campaign, which allowed customers to send a free box of mac ‘n’ cheese—or a coupon for redeeming—to loved ones.

According to Buzzfeed News, a spokeswoman for the food conglomerate, Lynne Galia, explained the company’s marketing strategy was inspired by National Noodle Day and:

“encouraged adults to send free noodles to loved ones to provide comfort and make them smile.”

Kraft announced their #SendNoods campaign on Tuesday in a now-deleted video featuring former Saturday Night Live actor Vanessa Bayer.

@kraft_macandcheese/Instagram

The commercial playfully referenced the abridged term for “noodles.”

Bayer explained in the video:

“In these strange times, people are in need of extra comfort. That’s why it’s always a nice gesture to send noods.”

“To be clear, I’m not advocating you send nudes to anyone. … Send noods, not nudes.”

Recipients of the gesture received something like this:

A follow-up ad showed the instruction of goodwill superimposed over a blurred image of a bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese.

@kraft_macandcheese/Twitter

But the noodle pun was lost on certain consumers who misinterpreted “noods” as something suggestive and even sinister.

Incensed mothers found Kraft was being “wildly inappropriate,” and they accused the “family company” of being “predatory” toward children because kids are the primary consumers of mac ‘n’ cheese.

Disapproving consumers called for a boycott, including this commenter who threatened to drop Kraft for Annie’s Homegrown – also known for their mac ‘n’ cheese products.

“This is not okay. Don’t you realize that a huge portion of the people who actually eat your mac n’ cheese are children?! Please delete this!! Unacceptable! Switching over to Annie’s organics.”

The media outlet said Instagram user @jessirodgerson – a mom of two young boys – wrote:

“I do not want my boys growing up and seeing a commercial where they joke about the exploitation of children!”

Buzzfeed also mentioned that angry mothers used the joke to reinforce fears of mass child trafficking – a QAnon conspiracy theory in which members falsely believe a vast network of liberal elites are snatching up kids and selling them to sex traffic rings.

Kraft alluded to the backlash on their Instagram Stories and announced:

“We sincerely appreciate and hear all of your feedback. The content will be removed from our channels.”

Twitter rolled their eyes over the uproar.

Despite the controversy, Kraft’s marketing strategy was hardly a failure.

Galia stated:

“The social promotion resulted in over 20,000 consumers across the country receiving boxes of America’s favorite Kraft Mac and Cheese.”

Koh Mochizuki

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1