Don't get me wrong. I can barely get through the morning without at least one cup of coffee. So, I have nothing against caffeine in and of itself. But when you start adding it to snacks like Cracker Jacks, Houston, we have a problem ...
Pepsi Co's Frito-Lay is launching a new product line called Cracker Jack'D, featuring two products called Power Bites that contain caffeine. Just what the world needs, caramel popcorn snacks that make kids even more hyper. And on the heels of stories like those about deaths linked to energy drinks, is this really the best idea?
It's hard enough to get kids to make healthy food choices today, so taking kid-favorites (I mean, come on, they come with toys in the package. Those are not for grown-ups ...) and adding caffeine is harmful and irresponsible.
The company claims that these snacks are being marketed to adults, not to kids, but when was the last time a kid looked at a sugary piece of popcorn and said to him or herself, "Nah, that's grown-up thing ..."
Critics and food industry watchdogs agree with me. "Boxes of Cracker Jack are famous for having a toy surprise inside," the Center for Science in the Public Interest said in a statement. "But what parent suspects that Cracker Jack might come with a surprising dose of a mildly addictive stimulant drug?" The group is calling out other products too, including energy-drink water flavorings and extreme jelly beans. You know, the jelly beans for the athlete in all of us.
This is a disturbing trend from food manufacturers, and one I'd personally like to see stopped in its tracks. We don't need our foods spiked with stimulants. Enough is enough.
Would you let your kids eat caffeine-laced Cracker Jacks?
Image via theogeo/Flickr