Stouffer's Mac and Cheese Tap

Though 2020 has been a pretty crappy year for restaurants, you’d have to think that it hasn’t been quite so bad for a frozen food brand like Stouffer’s. There are surely a lot of people who have microwaved mac and cheese over the past few months, and the recent introduction of their lasagna bites show they’re committed to culinary innovation in the frozen food space. 

Even still, I don’t think anyone is really prepared for what they seem to have schemed up last week: a tap that dispenses macaroni and cheese. 

If Stouffer’s posted this in late March or the first day of April, it’d be reasonable to shrug this off as some sort of half-baked prank. But given both the random timing and the caption, it would seem that they do indeed have some sort of plan to dispense macaroni and/or cheese via a pull handle shaped like a piece of elbow pasta. 

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According to a Stouffer’s spokesperson who got in touch with Today, Mac on Tap features an internal heating system that keeps pre-cooked Stouffer’s mac and cheese warm enough to serve and eat. It’s like a hybrid between draft beer and the nacho cheese dispenser you’d see at a movie theater or convenience store, except each pull of the handle pushes out pasta. 

With any sort of boundary-pushing innovation, however, come a series of logistical questions. How the hell is Mac on Tap supposed to dispense a viscous cheese sauce without becoming gunked up and unusable almost immediately? Can people safely experience the thrill of pulling a lever to get mac and cheese themselves or is that a pretty bad idea in the midst of a pandemic? Where and when will you even be able to find these things? 

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There are no immediate answers for any of those questions, but it sounds like Stouffer’s is at least thinking about the last one. For now, Mac on Tap is slated for a “2020” release, which will obviously be affected by what happens with Covid-19 in the months ahead. At the moment, Stouffer’s is soliciting ideas for where to place these things, and fans can tag the brand’s accounts on Instagram and Twitter to weigh in. 

Did anyone ask for Mac on Tap? No. Will it spark joy wherever and whenever it shows up? Probably. I guess in the end, that’s all that matters. 

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