Skip to Content

Cracker Jack

« Back to Glossary Index

**History and Evolution**:
– Cracker Jack, a sugar-coated popcorn with peanuts, has been sold in North America since the early 19th century.
– Goodwin Brothers in Philadelphia were listed as manufacturers of sugar-coated popcorn in 1886.
– Louis Rueckheim discovered a method to separate molasses-coated popcorn kernels in 1896.
– The Cracker Jack name and tagline were registered in 1896.
– Henry Eckstein developed the wax-sealed package for freshness in 1899.
– The packaging, known as the Eckstein Triple Proof Package, was introduced.
– The brand was owned by Borden in 1964 and later sold to PepsiCo in 1997.
– Production was transferred to Wyandot Snacks in Ohio.
Frito-Lay announced a reformulation of Cracker Jack in 2013.

**Mascots and Branding**:
– Sailor Jack and dog Bingo were introduced as mascots in 1916.
– They were registered as trademarks in 1919.
– Sailor Jack was modeled after Robert Rueckheim.
– The mascots became iconic and were prominently featured in the brand’s imagery.

**Product Line and Innovations**:
– Cracker JackD, a new product line, was introduced in 2013 with black packaging.
– It differed from the original Cracker Jack in packaging and prizes.
– Power Bites under the Cracker JackD line faced criticism for caffeine addition.
– The expansion of the product line included other salty snacks.
– Cracker JackD did not feature prizes in packages.

**Baseball Connection and Advertising**:
– Cracker Jack is commonly sold at baseball games and was mentioned in the song ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game.’
– The brand sponsored the Old-Timers Classic game and celebrated its 100th anniversary at Wrigley Field.
– New York Yankees briefly replaced Cracker Jack with Crunch ‘n Munch in 2004.
– Cracker Jack began TV advertising in 1955 and featured various celebrities in commercials.
– The brand’s influence in baseball and advertising has been significant over the years.

**Cracker Jack Prizes and Pop-Culture Influence**:
– Cracker Jack included Toy Surprises in each box, with prizes starting to be included in 1912.
– The evolution of prizes included designs by Carey Cloud and the use of paper prizes during WWII.
Frito-Lay replaced physical prizes with paper displaying riddles and jokes.
– Cracker Jack prizes became iconic in pop culture, with mentions in songs and movies.
– The brand’s influence on pop culture and the nostalgia associated with its prizes have been enduring.

Cracker Jack (Wikipedia)

Cracker Jack is an American brand of snack food that consists of molasses-flavored, caramel-coated popcorn, and peanuts, well known for being packaged with a prize of trivial value inside. The Cracker Jack name and slogan, "The More You Eat The More You Want", were registered in 1896. Some food historians[who?] consider it the first junk food.

Cracker Jack
Product typeCaramel coated popcorn and peanuts
OwnerPepsiCo (via Frito-Lay)
Introduced1896; 128 years ago (1896)
Previous ownersThe Cracker Jack Company

Cracker Jack is famous for its connection to baseball lore. The Cracker Jack brand has been owned and marketed by Frito-Lay since 1997. Frito-Lay announced in 2016 that the toy gift would no longer be provided and had been replaced with a QR code which can be used to download a baseball-themed game.

« Back to Glossary Index