Time To Bend Your Noodle and Fight Hunger in America.

CP+B have created a desktop and iPad experience for KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese designed to stop food waste, promote creativity, and help stop hunger in America. The application was built using flash and cross compiled to work on iOS. (I’m kind of surprised hey don’t have an Android version of this available as well since the desktop app was developed using Adobe Flash.)

KRAFT’s ‘Dinner Not Art‘ application donates 10 noodles to Feeding America for every virtual noodle saved in the macaroni art that you create. While this number seems small, think about the number of pieces used on average by a kid when making a macaroni masterpiece. It ads up fast. The application is easy to use and a little addictive. So long term, this could create a large payout for Feeding America if the application takes off.

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The application features a fun easy to use interface that is intuitive for younger children, and actually rather fun for adults. The bright colorful UI reflects the KRAFT Mac and Cheese box and branding colors, but does it in a way that never feels like Kraft is promoting their product. It’s this subtle balance that really wins here. Throughout the experience the participant is shown a counter that increases with each noodle added. (The feel good factor). At the same time the KRAFT brand is represented in an unobtrusive way, and subtly promotes the product. At the end of the experience you have the option of saving and sharing your creations. (another feel good factor).

Kraft and Triscuit + Urban farming = Positive Change.

Everyone is hopping on the green, and sustainable farming trend, even food giant Kraft. And while my feelings about Kraft are just slightly better than my feelings about Monsanto, I have to say good for them. What Kraft is doing reminds me of the Pepsi Refresh project in the sense that they are actually trying to provide some good on the neighborhood level, and if it means people actually eat better in this country I’m all for it.

Kraft and Triscuit in collaboration with non-profit organization Urban Farming have launched a new campaign to encourage the growth of the home farming movement. To kick-start the efforts of urbanite farmers looking to plant their own gardens, 4 million boxes of Triscuits will include seed packets and instructions on getting started with planting and nurturing your future crops. The campaign is not revolutionary but, the sponsored “Home Farming” website does contain some fun social components that allow urban farmers to share photos, stories and tips and the partnership is working to build 50 community-based home farms across the country. The link between the physical product and the social space of the website is handled fairly well, although I’d be interested to see what kind of results they get. (how many people register from information on the box, how many people actually plant a garden, how many people actively participate with the website, etc.) Overall Kraft has done a solid job with site production, integrating rich media content alongside the social components. In addition, Kraft has been very smart about allowing the user to share with every other social network powerhouses like Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Google, etc.

When you look at the concerns over the economic, environmental and health impacts of how are food is grown, and made available, to the public, it’s nice to see a brand like Kraft (no matter how you feel about giant food processing conglomerates) push to make the conversation about food production more public. It’s hard to  tell if these small scale models of urban farming will really change the current state of food production in North America.  The real importance might simply be in experimenting with what works and raising social awareness about the food we all eat.

You have to admit that at the end of the day, it’s certainly more satisfying to be eating something grown in your backyard, on your porch, or down the block in the community urban garden.