Friday, January 18, 2013

Cracker Jack'd Power Bites

Many of you read this article last year, which announced a caffeinated version of Cracker Jacks was rolling out soon. Your reaction was probably either (1) "OMG, we're all gonna die from caffeine poisoning and junk food" or (2) "Heck yeah, I want to try that!" I am firmly in the pro-coffee + chocolate camp for sure.

Cracker Jack'd Power Bites come in two flavors: Cocoa Java and Vanilla Mocha. Neither product is listed on the Frito Lay website at the moment. I found this snack on Walgreens' candy aisle, next to their 99 cent packs of Nice! brand nuts and sesame sticks.

This is what the Vanilla Mocha and Cocoa Java products have in common:
- A short, black and beige pouch with a more mature / grown up feel. Cracker Jack's famous mascots Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo are replaced with a smarmy, older Sailor Jack who resembles either Don Rickles or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.  New Bingo is channeling the mean dogs from the movie UP.
- "Snacks With Impact."
- 2 ounces of candy (14 rock sized pieces)
- Both pouches stand up, but are not resealable. Resealable would definitely be better, since this is a rich candy you won't polish off in one sitting
- The ratios of chocolate-to-cookie and coffee-to-chocolate are just right.
- Warning label 1: "Coffee: Equal To 1 Cup. Contains Caffeine."

- Warning label 2: "Contains 2 Tbsp of ground coffee per package, the amount used to brew a typical 8 oz cup of coffee."
- Warning label 3: "Contains caffeine. Not recommended for children, pregnant women or people sensitive to caffeine."

Cracker Jack'd Cocoa Java Power Bites
- "Crunchy chocolate and coffee flavored bites made with real coffee."
- "Artificially flavored coated wafers."
- Smells like yellow cake with chocolate-coffee frosting.
- Power Bites have a java flavored chocolate coating. The filling is a ball of chocolate crunchies without java (think crushed Oreo cookies). Heavenly combination!
- Have a darker shell than the Vanilla Mocha Power Bites.
- Similar flavor to chocolate covered coffee beans

Cracker Jack'd Vanilla Mocha Power Bites
- "Crunchy vanilla and coffee flavored bites made with real coffee."
- "Flavored coated wafers."
- Smells like yellow cake and milk chocolate candy bars
- Mocha is more subtle in this vs the java in the other Power Bites. It's almost a mocha hot cocoa flavor.
- Filling is somewhere between shortbread and an oatmeal cookie. It doesn't add much oomph to the mocha chocolate coating. A stronger flavored cookie would have been better.

Between the two varieties of Cracker Jack'd Power Bites, my favorite is Cocoa Java. It's much more craveable to me. But obviously I wouldn't say no if someone handed me Vanilla Mocha Power Bites, either. Vanilla Mocha was good; the cookie part just needs a little more tweaking.

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