Cracker Jack is Removing the Prizes in Boxes and Replacing Them with 'Mobile Experiences'
(CBS Moneywatch) Cracker Jack is getting a makeover -- inside and out.
The caramel-coated popcorn and peanut snack with the tiny prize inside the box is a longtime ballpark favorite. (It's even mentioned in the 1908 song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game.") But Cracker Jack owner Frito-Lay this month is rolling out revamped packaging featuring Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo and offering a smartphone-era twist on the tiny prize inside the box.
Rather than digging for plastic rings and tokens, and more recently for slips of paper with jokes and riddles, Cracker Jackers will find a scannable sticker that with the help of an app will be "bringing the ballpark to life on your mobile device," the company said in a press release.
The release goes on to explain four "baseball-themed experiences" called Dot Dash, Dance Cam, Get Carded, and Baseball Star that "allow users to show off your dance moves on a simulated baseball field jumbo screen on your phone, control the outcome of the legendary Dot Race, or make yourself a baseball star in baseball cards and autographed photos that can be traded and shared with your family and friends."
This is hardly the first time the company has toyed with the classic Cracker Jack experience: In 2012, it hid a token redeemable for a diamond ring in 30 boxes.
Frito-Lay, a division of publicly traded PepsiCo (PEP), thinks this latest offering is a home run, senior marketing director Haston Lewis told CBS Moneywatch. "The new Prize Inside allows families to enjoy their favorite baseball moments through a new one-of-a-kind mobile experience, leveraging digital technology to bring the iconic Prize Inside to life," she said.
Of course, if nostalgic fans yearn for the old prizes -- or don't own a smartphone -- this revamp could be a strikeout.