Slice of History
In the 1900’s, cheese was still carted around in horse-drawn wagons and cut into wedges for each customer off of giant wheels or blocks. Cheese would crumble into bits and pieces and, when combined with its short shelf life, led to tons (literally!) of waste — until one man created an incredible new way to enjoy cheese with less mess and more melt!
Meet Norman Kraft
In 1935, the younger brother of J.L. Kraft began experimenting with an exciting new method of cheesemaking. By pouring hot liquid cheese onto a cold stainless-steel table and cutting it, he created the very first cheese “slice”. When Norman asked his staff to take a look at his new cheese slices, they were a bit confused, responding, “You mean sliced cheese?” Norman stoically replied, “Cheese slices – big difference.”
Wartime, Ingenuity and Future Planning
From 1942-1945, Kraft stopped producing cheese so that the company could focus all its efforts on producing pre-served butter spreads and canned cheese for the armed forces serving in World War II. While Kraft as a company focused on wartime supplies, Norman’s invention received a patent for both the method and apparatus used to produce the new cheese slices. Norman’s nephew, an engineer, modified his refrigeration method by using a chill roll, meaning that the machinery that made cheese slices could continuously operate and produce even more cheese slices when the time was right.
From Cheese Revolution
In 1947, Kraft tested out their exciting new cheese slices in Detroit, but sales were far less than expected. The cheese was so perfectly stacked that customers didn’t even know they were individually sliced! As the legend goes, one day a Kraft salesman was so frustrated that he threw a pack on the floor and stomped on it – when he opened the package, the slices peeled to perfection. The road to gain customer trust was long, but once word got out that this revolutionary invention cut down on time and waste for all, it quickly became a grocery list staple.
To an American Classic
In the 1950’s, Kraft introduced KRAFT DeLuxe, the first commercially packaged cheese slices to the world. In 1965, Kraft Singles as we know them today, individually wrapped cheese slices, began to appear in stores. Customers across the US were able to use just one slice while keeping the others in the pack fresh for future use – and have been ever since!
The Present Day
Today, Kraft Singles are still one of America's most favorite cheese. With delicious new varieties added all the time. Check out the full product lineup to find your next favorite square.