Food & Drink | October 15, 2020 11:42 am

Moms Are Mad at Kraft for Sexualizing Mac and Cheese, and QAnon Is Also Involved Somehow

This week's chaotic 2020 subplot

mac and cheese
Idk looks pretty sexy to me.
Stephanie Phillips/Getty Images

Whatever divine, deeply disturbed entity is scripting this season of 2020 appears to have really phoned it in this week, simply reaching into the grab bag of culturally relevant terms to bring us the following Mad Lib of a BuzzFeed headline, first reported Monday:

“Angry Moms And QAnon Believers Attacked Kraft’s ‘Send Noods’ Campaign For Sexualizing Mac ‘N’ Cheese”

Unfortunately, this is not just a nonsensical string of randomly selected words, but rather an actual thing that happened. There’s clearly a lot to unpack here, so let’s dive in.

This week’s chaotic subplot to the broader End of Western Civilization narrative that’s dominated much of 2020 all started with a tongue-in-cheek campaign from Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The iconic mac and cheese brand has been cheekier in recent months, testing the water with stunty campaigns. A few months ago, Kraft wanted you to eat their signature product for breakfast like a college student and/or depressed adult, and now they want you to send nudes — or rather, “noods.”

The “Send Noods” campaign was a coy play on the popular “send nudes” meme, “encourag[ing] adults to send free noodles to loved ones to provide comfort and make them smile,” Lynne Galia, a spokesperson for Kraft Heinz, told BuzzFeed News.

However, this seemingly well-intentioned if somewhat contrived campaign appeared to enrage a number of vocally agitated mothers who seemed to view the stunt as a direct threat to their children’s sexual innocence, and took to the internet to air those complaints.

Angry commenters flooded Kraft’s Instagram posts promoting the campaign, calling the move “unacceptable” and unfitting for a “family company.”

“This is not okay. Don’t you realize that a huge portion of the people who actually eat your mac n’ cheese are children?!” wrote one user, who subsequently threatened to switch to rival mac and cheese brand Annie’s.

For one thing, I, personally, would like to imagine Annie is in fact a sexually liberated woman who can and would share nudes with consent and confidence. Moreover, it’s unclear who decided children have the monopoly on mac and cheese considering plenty of sexually mature individuals also eat mac and cheese, including, as previously mentioned, college students and depressed, sex-having adults like myself.

Nevertheless, moms seemed to take the campaign as the deliberate sexualization not only of mac and cheese, but of children themselves, with some critics even going as far as to accuse the brand of grooming and exploitation.

“I do not want my boys growing up and seeing a commercial where they joke about the exploitation of children!” said one Instagram user, while another claimed Kraft’s marketing “grooms children into believing it’s OK and even FUNNY to ‘send noods.’”

This is where QAnon comes in. According to BuzzFeed, some of the moms in distress went as far as to connect Kraft’s campaign to conspiracy theories about child sex trafficking that have become common in the QAnon sphere of delusion. Some even used the hashtag #SaveTheChildren, a formerly legitimate anti-sex trafficking initiative that has since been co-opted by QAnon groups.

Anyway, pretty sure the kids are gonna be fine, but Kraft ultimately surrendered to the army of angry moms, ending the campaign and stripping the content from its platforms.

Personally, I am here for horny mac and cheese, so if you’re reading this, send noods.