All traces of Kraft Mac & Cheese’s tongue-in-cheek “Send Noods” campaign that debuted last week in time for National Noodle Day have been erased from the brand’s social media channels as a result of backlash the brand received.
The campaign, created by recently founded agency Mischief, asked people to send comfort food in the form of Kraft Mac & Cheese to loved ones. Of course, the play on words is what made the marketing push stand out—and apparently what caused problems.
According to BuzzFeed News, social media users “ravaged” the campaign, saying the brand “sexualized mac ‘n’ cheese” and accused it of being “predatory” toward children.
On Monday, the brand said via Instagram Stories that it would remove the campaign’s content from its channels.
“For National Noodle Day last Tuesday, we encouraged adults to send free noodles to loved ones to provide comfort and make them smile,” the brand said in the post. “The social promotion resulted in over 20,000 consumers across the country receiving boxes of America’s favorite Kraft Mac and Cheese. We sincerely appreciate and hear all of your feedback. The content will be removed from our channels.”
Kraft sent Adweek a similar statement but did not mention its decision to remove the campaign’s content from its channels. It also noted that the promotion ended on Sunday as was originally planned. Adweek has reached out to Mischief for comment.
It appears people who took issue with the campaign are still taking to Instagram to voice their complaints. A recent post by the brand that features a young girl and her dog, unrelated to “Send Noods,” has attracted criticism.
“So according to your campaign, someone sent this child ‘noods’?! How appropriate,” one user wrote, commenting that the ads were “disgusting and inappropriate.”
Another wrote, “Pretty brazen to post a picture like this after your trashy ad campaign.”
Similar to other packaged-food manufacturers, such as Campbell’s and General Mills, Kraft Heinz has seen a boost in sales during the pandemic. In July, the maker of Bagel Bites pizza snacks and Oscar Mayer lunch meat reported that net sales grew 3.8% to $6.65 billion for the three-month period ending June 27.
Despite the current increase in demand, the company has reason to remain sensitive to public opinion. During the same quarter, Kraft Heinz wrote down the value of several of its brands, resulting in a $1.65 billion loss, compared with a profit of $449 million during the same period last year, as shoppers in recent years have sought fresher and healthier food options.