Brace yourselves, Kraft Dinner purists — big changes are on the way for Canada's most iconic boxed macaroni and cheese brand. Again.
Kraft Canada announced Thursday that it had axed approximately 82 per cent of the product's name to rebrand it simply as "KD."
This marks the first time in nearly 80 years that the cheesy noodle kit will be sold in Canada as something other than Kraft Dinner — a name that has been uniquely Canadian since the 1970s when U.S. markets ditched it in favour of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
When asked about the new name, KD's brand director Kristen Eyre told the Globe and Mail that it is essentially meant to remind consumers of how much affection they felt for Kraft Dinner as children.
"What we learned from consumers is that they still love KD, but it's not as top of mind as it once was," she said. "They feel they've outgrown it either emotionally or functionally. This was a huge 'aha' for us. We looked again at our product and our brand and asked what we need to do to drive that consideration?"
What they did was change Kraft Dinner's name to a nickname used colloquially by some, and as part of a tagline in many of the brand's previous marketing campaigns (remember "Gotta be KD"?)
"The way Canadians refer to Kraft Dinner as KD is as much a term of endearment as when you call a relative or a friend by a nickname," she said. "It's such a love mark for them, and we should be reflecting that."
It's probably the hockey background and Canadian influence, but when I hear "KD," I don't think Kevin Durant, I think Kraft Dinner. #NBA— @twharry
Canadian Twitter users, on the whole, appear to be relatively apathetic about the name change. Of the 37 tweets on Kraft's rebrand-related hashtag, #KDisnowKD, about half of them were published by the company itself or others working on its behalf to promote the product.
Reaction was markedly more intense in April when Kraft announced it would be removing all artificial preservatives and synthetic colours from KD next year.
While the company promises its reformulation of the product won't significantly change its taste or appearance, many still mourned the loss of their favourite neon-orange noodle dish.
Of course, nothing will ever make KD fans more irate than the suggestion that one should (or should not) put ketchup on their Kraft Dinner.
For many who enjoy the classic Canadian comfort food, this is the only KD variable that matters.