[Note: Story revised at 4 p.m., PT, on Nov 15, 2012 to add comments and references in the Advertising Age version of this story.]
PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay is putting some more pop in its Cracker Jacks, reports Advertising Age, continuing, "A new line extension called "Cracker Jack’d" will hit stores soon, including a caffeinated variety called Power Bites that is drawing criticism from a health-advocacy group that fears the snack might make little Johnny a bit too hyper."
Says an ABC News version of the story, "The jacked-up munchies will come in two flavors — vanilla mocha and cocoa java — and "will contain approximately 70 mg of caffeine in each 2 oz. package" by adding coffee to the list of ingredients alongside sugar and molasses, the company said. That’s a caffeine kick equivalent to a 1-ounce serving of espresso or two 12-ounce servings of cola."
According to the Ad Age story, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) said "Boxes of Cracker Jack are famous for having a toy surprise inside. But what parent suspects th
Ad Age adds that the CSPI also notes, in a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that "Caffeine is generally recognized as safe only in cola-type beverages and only at concentrations of 0.02% or less (about 72 mg per 12 oz.)."
To which a Frito-Lay spokesperson responded to ABC News, "It is worth pointing out the regulation referenced in the Center for Science’s letter to FDA speaks to caffeine — not coffee — and is not an exhaustive list of the safe uses of caffeine in foods and beverages. Rather, it represents one particular recognized safe use."
"The representative stressed that the company is adding coffee to the product that’s likely to reach stores early next year."
Furthermore, a Frito-Lay spokesperson told Ad Age, according to its article, "Cracker Jack’d is a product line specifically developed for adult consumers and will not be marketed to children. All marketing for the products will be exclusively aimed at adult consumers, and the package design and appearance are wholly different from Cracker Jack to ensure there is no confusion among consumers. The presence of coffee and the caffeine that comes with it is clearly called out on both the front and back of the package."