Later this year, Frito-Lay will launch a new version of their popular Cracker Jack candy-coated popcorn called "Cracker Jack'd Power Bites". The new, jacked-up munchies will come in two flavors - vanilla mocha and cocoa java - and will contain approximately 70mg of caffeine in each 2oz package by adding coffee to the list of ingredients.
The caffeine content of the snack is equivalent to a 1oz serving of espresso or two 12-ounce servings of cola.
The snack's added caffeine has consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest very concerned. In a letter to the Federal Drug Administration, the group claims that the planned snack violates federal food rules, stating:
"Caffeine is generally recognized as safe only in cola-type beverages and only at concentrations of 0.02% or less (about 72 mg per 12 oz.)."
A representative for Frito-Lay responded to the group's letter to the FDA, stating:
"It is worth pointing out the regulation referenced in the Center for Science's letter to FDA speaks to caffeine -- not coffee -- and is not an exhaustive list of the safe uses of caffeine in foods and beverages. Rather, it represents one particular recognized safe use."
The rep stressed that they are adding coffee to the product, which is likely to help them side-step regulations about caffeine content. The snacks are expected to reach stores early next year.