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Cracker Jacks Popcorn! My how we have changed......

Updated on January 1, 2014

Today I opened up a bag of "Cracker Jacks" to say I was surprised by the lack of candied nuts in the snack pack was an understatement. First, what happened to the box? Second what happened to the peanuts? Growing up I remember a 75% to 25% ratio of popcorn to peanuts, it could have been higher. I know there were 3 peanuts in my snack pack; it was 99.95% popcorn with 3 peanuts. I thought maybe there was a mistake, so for scientific research reasons only, I opened another bag and it was the same, all popcorn with 3 peanuts. I thought back to when I was a child and I enjoyed "Cracker Jacks". I would eat the popcorn peanut combo until I got to the middle of the box where the prize was.

The Prize, what price all I found in my bag was a little booklet the size of a postage stamp. It’s a not even worth opening, talk about cutting back. Let's face it, it was not a big prize when I was a kid, it was a plastic something or other. But all the ones I got today were little pieces of paper, a sticker or fold up puzzle. I was not looking for a diamond ring, but seriously how much did it improve the bottom line profits by replacing a plastic prize with a paper prize. When I was growing up the prize was usually a plastic pin ball game or a temporary tattoo. Today it’s a piece of paper. Seriously just eliminate the toy all together; you pretty much eliminated all the peanuts. I rather you kept the peanuts and eliminated the paper prize.

Do kids even eat "Cracker Jacks" or are the only people who eat "Cracker Jacks" are people who loved them as a child? I asked a few children I know and they were not impressed with "Cracker Jacks" and they could not even be bothered with the paper prize. In this day of Playstation15's, Xbox36000 and Iphone900cd I am not surprised that kids really can not be bothered with the prize. A stinking piece of paper, that’s not a prize!

In 1993 "Cracker Jacks" turned 100. In 2004 the NY Yankees decided that they were not going to sell "Cracker Jacks" anymore, they switched to "Crunch N Munch". There were so many complaints by fans that the Yankees switched back to "Cracker Jacks". (Wikipedia)

Are you kidding me, hands down "Crunch N Munch" is better then "Cracker Jacks". The nut to popcorn ratio smothered in buttery toffee is amazing, and no paper toy needed or wanted for that matter. "Crunch N Munch" stands out of the pack in my opinion as popcorn confections go.

"Buy me some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks", no thank you. When I go the ball game, I will take the hot dogs, peanuts and a beer, hold the "Cracker Jacks"

"Cracker Jack'D" is the new "Cracker Jacks" It's jacked up with new flavors to attract a younger generation. Hmm didn't I question if kids like Cracker Jacks. There will not be any prizes in the Jack'D version. I can't say there are any prizes in the un-jack'd version either.

"Cracker Jacks" is owned by PepsiCo. PepsiCo is the number 2 soda brand with Coke being first, if I recall correctly. PepsiCo has more then enough money, bottom line profits to put some peanuts back in the bag. Better yet let's put some peanuts back into the bag and a better prize. The Huffington post on 4/30/2013 noted that baby boomers want more peanuts and a better prize in their "Cracker Jacks".

So I am a little late, I can not remember when I ate "Cracker Jacks" before today, it must be years. Truthfully, I am not sure I even really liked "Cracker Jacks" I think it was the prize that made it exciting and the sweet peanuts. Now that there are hardly any peanuts and no prize to speak of, I doubt I will be buying "Cracker Jacks" again. I do like "Crunch N Munch" much better.

As I reflect further on the snacks I grew up with, they have all seemed to change. Twinkies were almost gone forever, ring dings, devil dogs and cupcakes have either shrunk or completely disappeared. Fruit Pies are not even slightly filled, you are lucky to get a few cherries in one. I truthfully do not even bother eating them anymore, its just a disappointment and why waste the calories. Maybe when I was a kid everything seemed bigger and better because I was young. I don't think so, i think companies cut back to improve bottom line profits. It's a shame that I can not re-live standing in my parents kitchen, opening the snack cabinet and enjoying one of my favorite treats. I still have my memories and I wont waste my money or the calories on the treats of my youth again.

I would love to hear your opinion, please let me know what you think about the "Cracker Jacks" of today.


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      Mathilde 17 months ago

      I just opened a CJ bag for the first time in years. I actually had to go back and read the label to make sure I hadn't accidentally bought a peanut-free version. Then I went to Google to see if anyone else was as disappointed as I am, and found your article!

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      Cracker Jacked 22 months ago

      Yes. I couldn't agree with you more. Everything seems to have either shrunk, gone down in quality or both. I keep buying this product and forgeting about the lack of peanuts inside the bag. Today I bought a 4oz bag that had about five peanuts in it. On the cover in bold letters it reads "New Prize Inside". There was no prize inside, however looking closer at the fine print just below the "New Prize Inside" it reads "See Back for Details". On the back it tells you to download the Blip the Ball Game app but does not direct you to a URL. I guess they probably think I'm a Cracker Jerk.

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      Christel 2 years ago

      Eating Cracker Jack's right now and have to say Where's the peanuts! There was only 3 peanuts in the whole box!

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      ZD 2 years ago

      I grew up in the 50's with Cracker Jack's and they WERE fun even though the toy was small but it was made of plastic and for a 7 year old , it was totally cool! Today you can barely find any " peanuts" and the paper -cheap toy is truly a waste - so sad BIG business only cares about profits and bottom lines, this baby-Boomer only has his memories of the Great candies of the 50's- Maybe they cannot bring back the neat toys but at least put some peanuts in the box!


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      Jason H. 2 years ago

      I love Cracker Jack! I complain every time I eat them. NOT ENOUGH PEANUTS!

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      Georgie Boy 3 years ago

      I had a couple boxes of Cracker Jack today and found a total of 2 and a half peanuts. No joke. Everything is changing these days, and not for the better.

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      bmw 3 years ago

      You're right. I went to see a Mets baseball game. Had two bags of cracker jacks shared with my siblings could not find one peanut. The prize was a yucky piece of paper too. Hope they fix it someday.

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      Jack Shittz 3 years ago

      Cracker Jacks " Popcorn" does not have peanuts but still have the paper sticker as a cheap prize, I don't buy them anymore, as they suck

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      John 3 years ago

      Oddly enough, I am enjoying a box a Cracker Jacks as I read your article!! I've eaten 5 of the regular size boxes in the past 3 days and they all seem to have about a dozen peanuts in each. I enjoyed CJ's as a kid and still like them today. The biggest disappointment in the product is the prize! I don't want a stupid paper sticker!! I want some good, cheap, crappy piece of plastic in the shape of... Anything! Thanx!