NASHVILLE, TENN. – Lactalis Heritage Dairy, a subsidiary of Lactalis USA, acquired the Kraft Natural Cheese business in 2021. After a few years of integrating the cheese brand into its portfolio, Lactalis is now aggressively bringing new life to the business.

This started on May 14, 2024, in Nashville, with the official debut of the Kraft Signature Shreds collection at a media event featuring former Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson East as brand ambassador.

The culinary event showcased the many creative uses of the new Kraft Signature Shreds, which come in 8 oz resealable bags of three blends — cheddar, Mexican and mozzarella — designed for making restaurant-quality meals at home. The blends all include a special, premium whole-milk mozzarella specifically developed by Lactalis for use in restaurants. Now it’s available from the supermarket.

Welcome beverages included the Parmspresso martini, an espresso-based cocktail topped with a creamy foam and freshly grated Kraft Parmesan Cheese. The starters showcased local favorite foods with a Kraft Signature Shred twist. There were biscuits topped with the melted cheddar blend and tomato jam and finished with Benton’s aged ham.

The pimento cheese spread, a southern favorite, used the cheddar blend as the base, to which fire-roasted peppers, chili oil and pickled green tomatoes were added. The filling of the crispy potato croquettes included the Mexican blend mixed with crème fraiche, black garlic, horseradish and chives.      

Johnson East worked with attendees to make Nashville hot honey chicken mac and cheese. Starting with already-cooked pasta and a creamy sauce made with the cheddar blend, participants were able to create signature dishes with varied spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables and other toppings to showcase the versatility of this comfort classic.

The event was all about demonstrating how Kraft Signature Shreds bring families around the dinner table, making mealtime easy and delicious, according to Ken Padgett, director of marketing for Kraft Natural Cheese. To assist, product packages feature a QR code to help families gather mealtime inspiration through a curated menu experience online. This collection of recipes includes shareable appetizers, family-friendly entrées and desserts.

The brand said it chose to work with Johnson East because of her loyal fanbase and her candid portrayal of modern family life and her relatable experiences. Johnson East’s favorite part of the partnership is the ability to make mealtime as family friendly as possible.

“As a mom and wife, I am always striving to make meaningful memories with my family at mealtime,” she said. “What I appreciate most about Kraft Signature Shreds is how it can turn any of my homemade meals into a restaurant-worthy dish that my family loves and I feel great putting on the table.”

Other dishes served at the event included a Middle Eastern-style vegetable risotto seasoned with Baharat and made creamy with the mozzarella blend. The shrimp and grits contained the cheddar blend, while twice-baked potatoes used the Mexican blend.

Kunefe was for dessert. This is a traditional Arabic sweet treat made with spun pastry called kataifi that is soaked in a sweet, sugar-based syrup called attar. It gets layered with cheese. This time it featured the Kraft Signature Shreds Mozzarella Blend.

Lactalis has numerous other innovations in the works for the brand. Kraft Flavor Fusions, for example, is a trio of block cheeses that can add excitement to recipes and elevate snacking occasions. Varieties are Buffalo Ranch Monterey Jack, Garlic & Herb Cheddar, and Tomato Basil Monterey Jack.