Buy me some peanuts and…

28 Apr

Cracker Jack!

A little bit of junk food history!  Cracker Jack was the first commercially successful junk food.  German immigrants Frederick and Louis Rueckheim started selling popcorn on the streets of Chicago in the 1870’s.  The Rueckheim’s found the perfect blend of popcorn, molasses and peanuts shortly afterwards.  Their popcorn experiment would soon turn into a worldwide sensation.  They started packaging their product in the 1980’s and promoted it all over the country, selling it at sporting events, snack bars, and circuses and fairs.  By 1913, Cracker Jack was the best selling commercial confection in the world!

A major reason for Cracker Jack’s success was… guesses? No? Advertising!  They specifically focused on advertising to children.  This included putting a small toy in every package.  Sound familiar anyone?  Originally, coupons for various household items were included in Cracker Jack boxes.  When the switch to toys was made, sales exploded.  By 1970, Cracker Jack was in 41% of American households.  Product sales began to decline at this point after similar products began to be made to mimic Cracker Jack.

Who doesn’t know the famous “Take me out to the ballgame” lyrics? (referenced in the title of this post).  This song was written in composed in 1908 and made Cracker Jack famous forever.



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