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For Phil Lempert, another food industry analyst, half a serving of cauliflower in the new Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is better than nothing if Americans are willing to serve it.

“I don’t care about the top 1 percent that can buy whatever they want, eat strictly organic, buy artisan cheese where they know the cheese maker,” Mr. Lempert said. “I want to make sure people who go in every week in the supermarket, are spending 22 minutes and 100 bucks a week for a family of four get the best health, taste and value that they can.”

That approach draws skepticism from Marion Nestle, a professor at New York University’s department of nutrition, food studies and public health. Nutrients are lost when vegetables are freeze-dried, Ms. Nestle says, and people are also losing the benefit of greater volume of less calorie-dense food in a meal.

“Oh, what will they think of next,” Ms. Nestle said. “What a silly idea.”