Cracker Jacks Get Caffeine Boost

Cracker Jack’D popcorn is just for adults, Frito-Lay says

There are two types of people in the world: those who think adding caffeine to Cracker Jacks sounds like the best idea since Candy Corn Oreos, and those who think it’s a harbinger of the end of days.

According to the New York Daily News, Frito-Lay’s new Cracker Jack’D line of popcorn/candy isn’t even available in stores yet, but the Center for Science in the Public Interest has already charged that the snack violates federal food rules because some varieties are caffeinated.

“Boxes of Cracker Jack are famous for having a toy surprise inside. But what parent suspects that Cracker Jack might come with a surprising dose of a mildly addictive stimulant drug?” said executive director Michael Jacobson in a letter to the FDA.

Frito-Lay says the caffeinated popcorn is not intended for kids, despite the fact that children and teens often want to eat things like candied popcorn that comes in flavors like salted caramel, peanut butter and chocolate, and spicy pizza.

“Cracker Jack'D is a product line specifically developed for adult consumers and will not be marketed to children,” said spokesperson Chris Kuechenmeister. The company says the new brand will come in several flavors, only two of which have caffeine. The caffeinated versions get that way by containing coffee, not by having caffeine added artificially, the company maintains.

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According to Gothamist, the “coco java” Power Bites snack is expected to have about 70 mg of caffeine in each 2 oz. package.