If Frito-Lay has its way, a highly caffeinated version of Cracker Jack will be hitting store shelves sooner than later.
This new twist on the classic caramel popcorn candy called Cracker Jack’D, will include “Power Bites” which contain 70 milligrams of caffeine — equal to a one-ounce shot of espresso in each 2 oz. package.
The Cracker Jack’D slogan: “Snacks with impact.”, is being aimed at adults with a product page already appearing on Facebook — prompting jokes like “legal crack now comes with a prize inside!” one commenter wrote — while another fan posted “I can’t wait to get JACK’D!”
“Cracker Jack’D is a product line specifically developed for adult consumers and will not be marketed to children,” Chris Kuechenmeister, a Frito-Lay spokesperson wrote in a statement. “The package design and appearance are wholly different from Cracker Jack to ensure there is no confusion among consumers.”
But a nonprofit nutrition activist group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, are concerned that if kids consume more than one serving at a time they could easily get an overdose of caffeine — a mildly addictive stimulant drug that can be toxic at sufficiently high doses. The group fired off a letter to both Frito-Lay and the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition last week encouraging government regulators to take take some kind of action.
“Whether or not they are advertised directly to children, it is certain that young children will consume Cracker Jack’D . . . and sometimes consume it to excess,” the Center’s director Michael Jacobson wrote to executives.
Although the caffeinated Cracker Jack snack does not yet appear on Frito-Lay’s website, the coffee-flavored treats are expected to ship by December 22nd in a plethora of flavors — which include salted caramel, vanilla mocha and peanut butter with chocolate.
While the package design is obviously different, the brand’s iconic mascots little boy Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo still make an appearance on the front.
“When’s the last time telling a kid that something is “for adults only” made them less interested in it?” wrote TODAY contributor Ben Popken.
Like it or not “I can’t wait to get JACK’D!” may become the real slogan that draws kids to this caffeine-fueled thrill ride of power munchies.