© Michael Neelon(misc) / Alamy Stock Photo
Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

Quick: As a kid, what was your favorite part of Cracker Jacks? I’m guessing none of you suddenly burst out with “the sticky peanuts that all fall to the bottom of the box!” Of course, everyone would say “the prize.” In fact, without the prize, the only thing Cracker Jacks are good for is reminiscing about how shitty candy must have been during the Depression.

But the days of the Cracker Jack Prize Inside as we know it appear to be coming to an end. For a while now, Frtio-Lay has been trying out including digital codes with prizes in the box that unlock games on the Cracker Jack app. But in an announcement last week, it appears the company has decided to get rid of any vestige of physical prizes, instead replacing them with a sticker that directs Cracker Jack consumers to a “new ‘Prize Inside’ mobile experience.”

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“Families can download the Blippar app available on iOS and Android, scan the Prize Inside sticker and enjoy bringing the ballpark to life on your mobile device,” the brand wrote in a press release. Man, nothing ties into the nostalgia of enjoying Cracker Jacks at the ballpark like the Blippar app. I distinctly remember firing up the Blippar app after watching Nolan Ryan pitch his record-shattering seventh no-hitter. Or maybe I ate a Fun Dip? I guess I can’t remember.

“We are a brand that authentically reminds people of simpler times, childhood memories and family experiences…. With this redesign and new mobile game experience, the Cracker Jack brand embraces a modernized, young-at-heart attitude while keeping that treasured feeling of childhood wistfulness,” Frito-Lay senior director of marketing Haston Lewis said in one of the most contradictory statement I’ve read in a long time.

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Will getting rid of the most memorable thing about a product actually make it more popular? Guess we’ll have to see how that one pans out.

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