Cheetos has cooked up a new comfort food that combines its cheesy chip flavors with a classic bowl of mac and cheese.
The brand is expanding its packaged food portfolio by creating its own line of boxed mac and cheese. The Cheetos mac and cheese will be available in stores beginning August 6 in three different flavors—bold and cheesy, cheesy jalapeño, and flamin’ hot. Cheetos is working with Walmart for the rollout, meaning consumers will be able to find the food first in Walmart’s stores or on the retailer’s website before expanding to other grocers in 2021. Cheetos Mac and Cheese marks the brand’s second expansion in the snack food aisle, having released Cheetos Popcorn earlier this year.
Cheeto’s pasta pursuit follows a period of significant sales increase for the PepsiCo brand, having seen a 192% jump in online searches in April as consumers’ snack food cravings surged during the Coronavirus pandemic. Quaker—another PepsiCo brand and the pasta maker behind the new Cheetos product—has also seen a significant boost in sales as more consumers began cooking from home. With the brands staying top of mind with consumers, now could be a prime time for Cheetos to expand its food offerings. The snack seller’s social media is already filled with fan-submitted pictures of Cheeto-food hybrids, which could help it easily transition to promoting its new pasta. As snack food pictures receive some of the highest interaction rates on Instagram, Cheetos could now heat up its own profile by posting its new pastas and potentially increase audience engagement with its more than 300,000 followers, according to a Gartner report.
Cooking up new dishes has become a common quarantine pastime, and as it turns out, brands have been joining consumers by undertaking the hobby. Cheetos is serving its tailor-made meal to fans across the country in a way that allows them to enjoy their favorite snack food and expands its own presence in the grocery store.