New Product Alert: Cracker Jacks with a Caffeine Kick

New Product Alert: Cracker Jacks with a Caffeine Kick

Food & Drink

New Product Alert: Cracker Jacks with a Caffeine Kick


The makers of Cracker Jack are getting ready to put some jolt in their ‘Jack.’ Frito-Lay has announced it will soon launch Cracker Jack’D Power Bites caffeinated snacks. It’s expected to reach store shelves early next year.

The jacked up snack will come in two flavors: vanilla mocha and cocoa java. It will contain about 70 mg of caffeine in each 2-ounce package, and coffee will be listed as one of the ingredients, along with sugar and molasses, according to Frito-Lay.

That’s about as much caffeine as a 1-ounce shot of espresso or two 12-ounce bottles of cola.

The announcement of Cracker Jack’d has generated protest from the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, who wonder why the company would want to offer a caffeinated version of a kid’s snack. “It is wholly inappropriate to add caffeine to a kid-friendly product,” said Jeff Cronin, the center’s director of communications.

Frito-Lay says the company’s new coffee toffee will be marketed exclusively to adults, noting that that package art will be quite distinct from regular Cracker Jack. It will be clearly labeled that the product contains coffee and caffeine, the company says.

That promise didn’t seem to placate Mr. Cronin, who points to a growing trend of food marketers adding caffeine to their products.

“Most parents don’t let their young children consume coffee,” Cronin said. “Parents shouldn’t expect to find caffeine in jelly beans, potato chips, or other foods.”

I have to wonder whether this stuff will get much traction in the marketplace. No doubt Frito-Lay has test marketed it, but I have to ask, do we consumers really need or even want coffee in our Cracker Jack? Doesn’t sound that good to me. How about you?

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