Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Miss The REAL Toy

I recently bought Cracker Jack.  It was their new butter toffee flavor. I bought a bag.  I noted that the larger  package of the original flavor carried banner announcing that it now had more peanuts. The butter toffee has no peanuts and by the way, is not a flavor I will buy again. But I digress.

The toy surprise was a piece of paper with a way to earn points for baseball items and a code for the new Cracker Jack app.  That's right, the toy surprise was an app code.  Now Cracker Jack has not actually given a toy for a very long time.  It has for the past many years been basically a really bad paper and pencil doodle or puzzle or fun fact.  There was  a time it was a really bad water application tattoo, but a piece of paper with an app?  This is a toy surprise?

Once we actually got a cheap, real toy.  When I was growing up Cracker Jack came with a real toy in it.  Not only that "the more peanuts" in the new over-sized package is actually adding back the peanuts that the box once had.  The number of peanuts was reduced in a bid to keep the cost down.  I would point out that for the box, toy, caramel corn complete with peanuts we once paid, I think, 10 cents. Getting rid of the toy and lowering the number of peanuts and probably the size of the box didn't keep the price down.  The toys when I was growing up were plastic.  Before that they were also often made of metal, which was probably not all that safe. But now...this is a toy surprise?

At one point at least the paper surprise, although not a toy, was at least creative.

Now I know the company, Frito-Lay, will most likely argue that the small toys are not safe for little kids, and that was one of the reasons the real toy is gone.  That's not it.  It is the bottom line.  It seems to me, though, that companies have forgotten something along the way that the little extra gives us a reason to buy their product.  An app is not a toy.  A piece of paper is not a toy.  A toy is a toy.  Here's a thought.  Rather than trying to increase sales by offering  badly flavored "new" flavors of Cracker Jack'D or adding back the peanuts we once had or a piece of paper, try going retro. Give us back one of the reasons we once bought Cracker Jack. I can, after all, buy all kinds and cheaper forms of caramel corn. Give us the toy that made Cracker Jack fun.