Can you believe Cracker Jack is turning 120 years old this year? Yes, it’s true! They’re celebrating their big birthday by launching their new brand Cracker Jack’D. I had a chance to try them and they are beyond delicious- especially the Intense Mix Buffalo Ranch! PepsiCo’s Dave Skena joind me for an interview recently to dish on the new brand and how they’re evolving to meet the needs of today’s adult consumer, and whether or not Cracker Jack’D will include a prize!
Candace Rose: How is Cracker Jack evolving to meet the needs of today’s adult consumer?
Dave Skena: “First I want to reassure everybody that the traditional Cracker Jack isn’t going away. That product has been around for 120 years and it’ll be around for the next 120. No worries there, but we do think there are a lot more ways to become interesting to folks in their twenties and thirties who didn’t maybe grow up with Cracker Jack, and that’s where maybe where this new line of Cracker Jack’D brand comes in. So kind of a new twist on something that may be familiar. What these people in their twenties and thirties told us is ‘Hey, I’m on the go all the time. I need something that gets me going, something that keeps me going. I want a lot more taste, I want a lot more intensity in the flavors. I want a lot more variety in the flavors. I want salty sweet.’ And so we said ‘Okay, let’s give them that.’ And that’s really what you see in the product lineup that we have.”
Candace Rose: Will there still be a prize in the box?
Dave Skena: “There will always be a prize inside the traditional Cracker Jack, but that was one of the things that was so core, such an important part of the American icon that we’re giving Cracker Jack its own personality, a little different at making sure we’re hitting folks in their twenties and thirties. We decided we would not put a prize inside Cracker Jack’D. We like to say the prize inside Cracker Jack’D is the product.”
Candace Rose: Was there anything else that went into targeting a new generation of consumers?
Dave Skena: “Really, one of the most important things we can do to make sure that we are relevant or known amongst these folks is we get the product in their hands, get them to try it. The selection of partnerships is obviously very different. We want a presence. We’ll be at concerts with hip hop acts Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. We want to partner with things they care about- car shows, West Coast Customs. These guys are literally designing a sampling vehicle for us because we have to go do a lot of event samplings at places that are relevant to these people and we want everything we do to be very very shareable in social media- all kinds of social media. We’ve found that if you have a good product and people enjoy it, they will do a lot of the work for you by telling their friends that they found something great that fits their busy life and they kind of want the word to get out about that.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Dave Skena: “Absolutely. We are available now in convenient stores and in the front end by the checkout lanes at Walmart and Walgreens. But if you can’t find it definitely look us up on Facebook.com/CrackerJackDSnacks, at CrackerJackD.com or @CrackerJackD on Twitter. Leave us a message, we are checking that all the time. We’ll tell you a store location near you hopefully that has it right now. And the second thing I’d say to all your listeners, Candie is if you can’t find it, definitely ask. See your store operator or the guy behind the counter because they can usually order these things in no problem. If they get asked a few times, they do.”