An American Icon Celebrates a Century of Satisfying Cheese Lovers


Glenview, Ill.-(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–January 31, 2003–Americans have a love affair with cheese, and cheese lovers know only one way to spell cheese: K-R-A-F-T. For the last 100 years, this love of cheese has helped make Kraft(R) Cheese an American icon from coast to coast.

“This is an exciting time for Kraft Foods and celebrating 100 years of Kraft Cheese is a milestone that we are very proud of,” said Kevin Ponticelli, Executive Vice President Kraft Foods North America and General Manager, Kraft Cheese Division. “For a century, Kraft Cheese has helped families create fond memories around the kitchen table — something that we plan to continue for generations to come.”

100 Years of History

It all began in 1903 when James L. Kraft, along with his trusty horse Paddy, put his name on the side of a rented cart and began a wholesale cheese business in Chicago. With $65 in capital, he hit the streets selling cheese, ultimately revolutionizing the cheese industry. Kraft Cheese quickly became an American favorite known for great taste and top quality.

For the past century, Kraft Cheese also has been known for significant innovation, continuously bringing new products to the table to meet the changing needs and lifestyles of cheese lovers everywhere. In 1915, Kraft changed the cheese landscape with the introduction of Kraft process cheese distributed in tins, an innovation that allowed people to enjoy the same great-tasting cheese with longer-lasting freshness. This production method was so revolutionary that in 1917, Kraft began supplying cheese in tins to the U.S. Government for the armed forces during World War I.

Kraft built on the success of process cheese to introduce another revolutionary product, Velveeta(R) pasteurized process cheese loaf, in 1928. Velveeta, made from a blend of Colby, Swiss and Cheddar cheeses, provides a unique taste and creamy, smooth melt, making it a popular topping for everything from crackers to vegetables.

Kraft innovations extended beyond products into packaging as well. In fact, in 1933, Kraft Cheese spreads became available in decorative, reusable glass jars called Swankyswigs(TM). Used as colorful drinking glasses, Swankyswigs(TM) added a touch of whimsy to Depression-era tables and are considered collectors’ items today.

Serving Up Years of Satisfied Smiles

Through the years, Kraft has introduced many cheese products Americans now know and love including: Kraftâ Natural Cheese, perfect for snacks and as an ingredient in many favorite dishes; Kraft(R) Singles, which help to make “ooey-gooey” grilled cheese sandwiches and are now available with double the calcium of most ordinary American slices in each serving; Kraft(R) Macaroni & Cheese, America’s favorite for the past 66 years, available in kid-friendly shapes including the latest addition, Spongebob Square Pants(TM); Cheez Whiz(R) pasteurized process cheese sauce, still Mom’s quick, cheesy topping choice; and Kraft(R) Deli Deluxe(R), offering rich and hearty deli-style cheese without the deli line wait.

Recent years also have seen the introduction of many more delicious Kraft Cheese products such as: Philadelphia(R) Snack Bars, including the most recent offering, Marble Brownie; and Kraft(R) Rip-Ums(TM) , strips of kids’ favorite American Cheese, that offer a fun and delicious anytime treat. Some favorite Kraft cheeses, like Kraft(R) Chunk pasteurized process cheese, even have introduced new flavors such as Bacon Cheddar, Roasted Garlic Cheddar, Pepperjack and Smoky Swiss and Cheddar.

Kraft continues to be at the forefront of new packaging innovations that help provide more convenient and enjoyable meal- and snack-time experiences. The newly introduced Fresh-Slide(TM) zipper on packages of Kraft(R) Natural Shredded Cheese allows for quick and easy resealing of the

package. Kraft(R) 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese is now available for a limited time in a new restaurant-style shaker that brings the experience of dining in your favorite Italian restaurant right to your own kitchen table.

From humble beginnings until today, Kraft Cheese has grown into a family of favorite food brands and is America’s No. 1 brand of cheese in all major categories including cream cheese, grated, process cheese slices and natural shredded and chunk cheeses.

Classic Kraft Cheese Recipes at Your Fingertips

To help celebrate 100 years of cheese, Kraft is offering a chance for families to take a stroll down mealtime memory lane with the introduction of the Kraft Kitchens New Classics Cookbook. Inside, consumers will find Kraft’s most requested recipes from favorite casseroles to quick and easy snacks — recipes that continue to be family favorites from generation to generation. The cookbook includes recipes such as Con Queso dip with Velveeta, hearty lasagna with Kraft Natural Cheese or mom’s homemade pizza using Kraft Shredded Cheese. The Kraft Kitchens New Classics Cookbook will be available in April at bookstores nationwide or by visiting shopkraftfoods.com.

Spell K-R-A-F-T and Win!

What’s the best way to celebrate a 100th birthday? By giving away $100,000, of course! To kick-off the year-long celebration, Kraft Cheese is offering the “Spell Cheese K-R-A-F-T and Win” Game in February.

For a chance to win, participants can purchase specially-marked packages of Kraft Cheese and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese products (or visit kraftfoods.com for instructions on obtaining free game pieces).

Each package contains a promotional game code, which can be redeemed for a letter by following the instructions available at kraftfoods.com.

Everyone who collects all five letters spelling K-R-A-F-T will win $100 and be eligible for the $100,000 grand prize drawing. Participants also have a chance to win thousands of instant-win prizes online. For complete rules and more information, visit kraftfoods.com.

To access Kraft Cheese product images, historical photos and classic recipes, please visit our online media center at http://www.ws-kraftcheese100media.com.

Kraft Cheese Division is a division of Kraft Foods, Inc. (NYSE: KFT), a global leader in branded foods and beverages. Kraft Foods is the largest branded food and beverage company headquartered in the United States and the second largest worldwide. Kraft Foods markets many of the world’s leading food brands, including Kraft(R) cheese, Jacobs(R) and Maxwell House(R) coffees, Nabisco(R) cookies and crackers, Philadelphia(R) cream cheese, Oscar Mayer(R) meats, Post(R) cereals and Milka(R) chocolates, in more than 145 countries.



Courtney Quaye