Happy 2012, folks. It’s back to business here at Fooducate. Today, a sobering look at the “Dry Dinner Mix” market, estimated at $138 million annually. Hamburger Helper has been dominating the market for decades, but earlier this year Kraft introduced a “worthy” competitor based on their stalwart Velveeta brand. The strategy has paid off for Kraft:
Within three months of the July launch, the Skillets captured more than 8% of the overall $138 million dry dinner mix category, according to market-research firm SymphonyIRI Group, which tracks sales at most retailers. read more from WSJ Online…
We decided to compare two similar products:
- VELVEETA CHEESY SKILLETS DINNER KIT – ULTIMATE CHEESEBURGER MAC.
- HAMBURGER HELPER – CHEESEBURGER MACARONI
What you need to know:
Here’s the Hamburger Helper ingredient list:
Enriched Macaroni (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Corn Starch, Salt, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Ricotta Cheese (Whey, Milkfat, Lactic Acid, Salt) (Dried), Onion (Dried), Tomato (Dried), Monosodium Glutamate, Garlic (Dried), Citric Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Paprika, Maltodextrin, Spice, Color (Yellow Lakes 5&6, Yellows 5&6), Monoglycerides, Whey, Natural Flavor, Yeast Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Egg
Here’s the Velveeta ingredient list:
cheese sauce (milk, whey, water, whey protein concentrate, canola oil, milk protein concentrate, sodium phosphate, salt, contains less than 2% of milk fat, lactic acid, sodium alginate, sorbic acid, paprika, annatto, natural flavor, cheese culture, enzymes),
enriched macaroni product (wheat flour, niacin, iron, vitamin b1, vitamin b2, folic acid),
seasoning mix: (whey from milk, dried onions, cheddar cheese (milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), maltodextrin, partially hydrogenated soybean, whey protein concentrate, hydrolyzed soy protein, milk, lactose, dried tomatoes, salt, sugar, contains less than 2% of sodium phosphate, black pepper, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor, citric acid, dried garlic, spices, sunflower oil, cheese culture, milkfat, mustard seed, yellow 5, yellow 6, lactic acid, enzymes, sodium citrate.)
As you can see, both are highly processed products. Both contain partially hydrogenated oils = trans-fat. Both use artificial dyes to create a “golden” hue to their sauces. If you are sensitive to MSG, both products contain that too (underlined). And both products are high in sodium
Both are terrible choices to add to to your hamburger meat. Unfortunately, the convenience factor trumps all for many busy parents.
What to do at the supermarket:
Steer clear from prepared mixes that contain such long ingredient lists. Watch for partially hydrogenated oils and high levels of sodium.