The Talker: Critics jacked-up over Cracker Jack’d energy popcorn - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

The Talker: Critics jacked-up over Cracker Jack’d energy popcorn

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Energy food and drinks used to be a niche--almost a novelty product--but now, it's on the rise.

In the 1980's, the label of Jolt Cola defiantly proclaimed: "all the sugar and twice the caffeine."

Mountain Dew took a similar concept, applied the powers of expensive marketing, and created an "extreme" image.

Starbucks turned caffeine into an art form and amped-up one. Venti-sized drinks and double shots made bigger look better.

Then, the floodgates opened. Red Bull, Monster, Rock Star, and 5-Hour Energy drinks became convenience store staples and huge sellers.

The latest energy food is called Cracker Jack'd. These are not the Cracker Jacks we've been taking out to the ballgame all these years. The old-time kids' favorite has been jacked-up and two of the new flavors have caffeine in them. One is called "cocoa java power bites."

The snacks are already advertised for sale on a vendor's website with shipments starting December 22nd.

Frito-lay owns Cracker Jack and says the new snacks contain real coffee, not chemically added caffeine. It also says Cracker Jack'd will be marketed to adults, not children.

Critics are still jacked-up with concern that kids will end up eating the stuff. The non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked the federal government to look into what it calls a caffeine craze. A product made by Kraft, called MiO Energy, which can be squirted into water to add caffeine and vitamin B, is also mentioned. Also cited in the letter: Extreme Sport Beans, which are made by the Jelly Belly Candy Company.

Chicago Alderman George Cardenas is so concerned about the potential dangers of energy drinks. He proposed a law banning their sale to anyone under 21.

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