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Kraft Sets New Bar With Astounding 7-Cheese Blend
NORTHFIELD, Ill. (CAP) - For years, experts said it couldn't be done: a combination of cheeses so legendary that the very concept itself was considered too outlandish for even the most diehard science fiction enthusiast. But researchers at the Kraft Foods' Global Technology & Quality Group claim to have come up with a seven-cheese blend they say will rock the processed cheese industry.
"When four-cheese was the standard, everyone said we were crazy for even thinking five was possible," said lead researcher Dr. Musafa Rufus. "But when Sargento introduced their six-cheese Italian blend, we knew then the ceiling was higher than any of us had ever envisioned.
"Now we've got so many cheeses, we don't even know what all of them are," added Rufus.
Kraft credits a young research phenom with the find, saying his predilection for cheese and cheese by-products rivals that of the legendary cheese innovators of the '70s and early '80s. "He doesn't just eat and breathe cheese, he cuts it, too," said one fellow researcher. "Would that we were all as devoted to our art, the strides in cheese development we could make as a society."
Devoted or obsessed? The son of a deli worker and a cracker manufacturer baking floor quality control analyst, "American White" or AW as he's known around the Kraft labs has a passion for cheese that some say borders on the unhealthy. One former coworker who spoke on the condition of anonymity said rather than nurturing young talent to help ensure long-term success, Kraft pushes too hard for immediate results and instead burns that talent out.
"I mean, come on - how many different cheeses can you add before it, you know, just tastes like cheese?" said the ex-employee. "The thing is, the moment AW stops producing, Kraft will kick him back to melted cheese tester faster than you can say Daralagjazsky."
While cheese rivals like Sargento and Land O'Lakes acknowledge the strides made by Kraft scientists, they say the only way to really know what consumers pine for in cheese is to be out among the people, not mixing vials of cheese in a laboratory. Sargento CEO Lou Gentine says people's cheese needs are best met when the focus is on cheese, not on profit margins.
"I guarantee no group of consumers ever stood up and said, 'You know what we really need is a cheese-like substance you squirt from a can that if left out turns rubbery enough to bounce a quarter off of,'" Gentine said. "Ask not what you should do for cheese, but what cheese should do for you."
To that end, Gentine said that after months of research and development and split market testing, his company is set to announce a new line of cheese products in the likeness of various Disney Channel TV stars. The Limited Edition Individually Wrapped Zeke & Luther String Cheese Snacks will be in grocery stores throughout the U.S. starting next month.
"Check this out: if you stand the cheese up on a Town House cracker, it looks like Zeke is skateboarding," added Gentine. "The kids'll love it."
Kraft is also launching a new "Are You Cheese?" branding campaign in select Star Market and Shaw's grocery stores that awards consumers $100 on the spot if they ask that very phrase to a disguised Kraft spokesperson wandering around each store.
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