New Caffeinated Cracker Jacks -Cracker Jack'D- Prompts Outcry
There's some new buzz in the snack space. While there hasn't been any official announcement form the company, word on the street is that Frito-Lay is getting to release a caffeine enhanced version of Cracker Jacks, called Cracker Jack'D, and they are scheduled to hit shelves in late 2012. Instead of a toy prize, these 'Snacks with Impact', will have 70 mg of caffeine per 2 oz box. Although Frito-Lay states they are still 'optimizing the product design', so things may change before release. 70 mg of caffeine means the snack has slightly less caffeine then a Red Bull energy drink (which has 80 mg of caffeine). The makers of Cracker Jack are adding a little more pop to their candy-coated popcorn. Frito-Lay will introduce Cracker Jack'D Power Bites caffeinated snacks later this year. The jacked up little munchies will come in two initial flavors: vanilla mocha and cocoa java.
Outcry from Health Critics and Advocacy Groups
When word leaked out about the caffeinated Cracker Jacks consumer advocacy groups went crazy. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) sent a letter to the FDA protesting the caffeine in the snacks, claiming they were 'sure to fall into the hands of children'. "The way things are going, I fear that we'll see caffeine, or coffee, being added to ever-more improbable drinks and snacks, putting children, unsuspecting pregnant women and others at risk," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "How soon before we have caffeinated burgers, burritos or breakfast cereals?" Jacobson pleaded with the FDA to take a stand on caffeinated foods.
The Response from Frito-Lay
Frito-Lay for its part has said: 'We stand by the safety of all products in the Cracker Jack'D line, including those that contain coffee.' A spokesperson for the company has also stated that the product like was 'specifically developed for adult consumers and will not be marketed to children.' Additionally, it will have a 'different package design and appearance that are wholly different form Cracker Jack to ensure there is no confusion among consumers.' And very clear labeling on the front and back about the presence of coffee and caffeine.
Let the Caffeinated Snacks/Food Brawl Begin
It should be noted, this is far from the first caffeinated snack available, but it sure has drawn public interest. This is shaping up to be where the battle over caffeinated foods and snacks will be drawn. With such a large company being involved, and plenty of noisy 'think of the children!' activists lining up to duke it out.