Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

KD aka Kraft Dinner - Canadian vs American

Like many Canadians we travel to the United States.  This gives me ample opportunity to compare similar products for similarities and differences.   Kraft Dinner topped with ketchup is reputed to be Canada's national food.  So I thought it would be interesting to compare the packaging from a box of Canadian Kraft Dinner and it's American counterpart Macaroni & Cheese.

Details - Kraft Dinner (Canadian) is manufactured by Kraft Canada Inc., Don Mills, Ontario.  Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (American) is manufactured by Kraft Foods Global, Inc., Northfield, Illinois.

Kraft Dinner - Notice that the product in Canada is actually called Kraft Dinner or KD for short and that is indicated on the packaging.  That is because most Canadians can recognize a picture of macaroni with the trademark neon orange colouring without being told that it is macaroni and cheese.   In very fine print near the bottom the product is identified as macaroni and cheese but that's likely a legal thing just in case some inexperienced Canadian can't identify the product by its picture and just happened to bring a magnifying glass with them while they were shopping.  In this case Canadians already know that Kraft Dinner is made by Kraft so we don't need a huge logo of Kraft to grace the box.  In fine print also needing a magnifying glass are short instructions for getting into the box likely because Canada's national drink (beer) may be involved when opening the box or again for those who aren't sure how to open boxes.  More likely is another legal thing due to our southern influence of suing if a mosquito lands on them.   Notice we don't need any fancy font or extra labeling claiming to be the cheesiest although on the top there is a Kraft logo on the top of the box that says made with real Kraft cheddar.    The box inculdes cooking instructions for both microwave and stove-top.  That's a good thing because the quicker you can cook KD the faster you can eat it.  As with all packaging in Canada labeling is bilingual.  Now here is where Canadians actually get a better deal for their dollar.  A box of Kraft Dinner is 225 g compared to the American Macaroni & Cheese that is only 206 g.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese - The product in the US is labeled as macaroni & cheese with no mention of Kraft Dinner on the packaging.  This must be a legal thing to prevent someone from suing expecting a dinner in a box and all they got was dried pasta and a package of neon organge powder stuff.  The box has a considerably larger picture of macaroni and cheese.  This is likely for those consumers with poor eyesight or seeing eye dogs helping their owners find the culinary delight easily.  It also helps those who don't speak English to identify the product because the only language on the label is English.  The American package contains instructions on opening the box on top and on the side.  I'm not sure why other than maybe American's need to be told twice how to do some things.  The box only includes stove-top cooking instructions.  That's a pity since most Americans tend to be a bit more rushed than Canadians.  There is the notation on the box that it is the cheesiest but no mention as to what cheese it is so one can only wonder about exactly what that neon orange powder is..As already mention a box of the American version is only 206 g so Canadians are getting the better deal here.

My Recommendations for Americans - Buy Canadian.  You get more product that is clearly labeled as using cheddar and you can cook it in the microwave.  Be sure to cover your culinary delight with ketchup to make it truly Canadian!


  1. haha awesome commentary well done!

  2. Hilarious! My wife and I just got back from vacation in Alberta. We both grew up on and still love what y'all (Yes, we are from the Southern U.S.) call KD. Our lengthy discussion while shopping in the Banff Safeway, led me to research the difference, if any, between KD and our Kraft M and C Dinner. Your exposition on the matter has been by far the best. Kudos!

  3. I've never had KD, but Kraft Macaroni and "Cheese" is a disgusting product! What is that powdered orange stuff? It's certainly NOT cheese! And I'm sorry, but...why does the size of the name of the manufacturer matter? Either way, this is not a meal that I'd serve my family. I would MUCH rather spend two hours making REAL macaroni and cheese the old-fashioned way...with actual CHEESE and in the oven!

    1. Holy, crap. You are a SERIOUS curmudgeon.

  4. If you had ever had REAL KD you'd understand that it's friggin delicious. The US version is not the same and I plan on taking at least a case down with me when I move. While I personally prefer to make my own from scratch (I make a great cheese sauce)when you have 15 mins for supper, make a box of KD, add some well cooked lean ground beef (or bison) tomatoes, onions, italian seasoning, garlic and top it off with some parm... NOM! Restaurants couldn't do it better! ;)