Annie’s Mac & Cheese Actually Is Healthier Than Kraft, Velveeta


Annie's mac & cheese

Maybe that’s why Annie’s stocks are soaring. The company—which makes all sorts of packaged organic food but is probably best known for it’s mac & cheese—went public this week, and had the biggest opening day gain for an IPO this year, with shares rising 89% that day (if you think you might like to invest, it’ll cost you: shares closed at $35.92). Apparently, this is all a big deal. I love Annie’s, because it makes me feel okay about indulging my boxed macaroni and cheese addiction (I would still take Kraft over homemade). But I’d never actually compared the ingredients or nutritional info of Annie’s with, say, Kraft or Velveeta until now.

You can see more about each brand below, but I’m happy to report that one serving of Annie’s is:

• Lower-calorie than either Kraft or Velveeta
• Lower in fat and sodium than Velveeta
• Free of the preservatives and sketchy ingredients in both Kraft and Velveeta.

Which I think officially means we can call it a healthier, right? If you buy in bulk on Amazon, you can get it pretty cheaply, too ($1.40-$1.75 per box).


Product: “Organic Cheddar Mac” (shells & real aged cheddar)

Price: $2.39 / 6 oz box. when not on sale (I see it for $1-$1.50 often)

Ingredients: Organic wheat shell pasta, organic cheddar cheese, organic whey, salt, natural sodium phosphate, organic annatto extract for color

Serving: 1 cup, prepared

Calories: 270
Fat: 3.5 g
Sodium: 570 mg
Carbs: 47 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 5 g
Protein: 10 g


Product: “The Cheesiest” (Macaroni & Cheese Dinner)

Price: 79 cents – $2 / 7.25 oz box

Ingredients: Enriched Macaroni Product (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin, vitamin B1, riboflavin, folic acid), whey, milkfat, milk protein concentrate, salt, sodium tripolypohsphate, citric acid, lactic acid, sodium phosphate, calcium phophate, milk, yellow 5, yellow 6, enzymes, cheese culture

Serving: 1 cup, prepared

Calories: 400
Fat: 3.5 g
Sodium: 580g
Carbs: 47 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 6 g
Protein: 10 g


Product: Velveeta Shells & Cheese Original

Price: about $2.50/12-oz box

Ingredients: Enriched Macaroni Product (wheat flour, durum wheat flour, glyceryl monostearate, niacin, ferrous, Iron, thiamin, Vitamin B1, riboflavin, folic acid), milk, whey, water, canola oil, milk protein concentrate, sodium phosphate, salt, sodium alginate, lactic acid, oleoresin paprika (color), natural flavor, cheese culture, enzymes, annatto (color), sobric acid as preservative

Serving: 1 cup, prepared

Calories: 360
Fat: 12g
Sodium: 870 mg
Carbs: 49g
Sugars: 4g
Protein: 13g

Photos: 1), 2) Kraft 

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    • Hanna Brooks Olsen

      This makes me feel a lot better about the amount of Annie’s mac I have eaten in my life…though I wish they had a vegan option. I’d never eat anything else, ever again.

    • Fabel

      Annie’s is sooooo good.

    • Sarah

      Omg, you can buy it on Amazon!? Yay!! I love Annie’s!

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