Source: Frito Lay

Buzzkill: The Troubled History of Caffeinated Snacks

  1. Cracker Jack’D

    Cracker Jack’D

    Last week, the Center for Science in the Public Interest reported that Frito Lay will soon release a caffeinated spinoff of Cracker Jack called Cracker Jack’D. The name is a stroke of genius; the idea, maybe less so. If history is a guide, adding or increasing the caffeine content of otherwise decaf food is a pretty tired idea.

    Source: Frito Lay
  2. Water Joe

    Water Joe

    Seventeen years after the debut of this odorless, flavorless caffeinated water, Water Joe is sold online and only in select stores in the Midwest.

    Source: Water Joe
  3. Pepsi A.M.

    Pepsi A.M.

    Pepsi’s 1989 foray into the morning beverage market was short-lived. Pepsi A.M., a cola that contained 28 percent more caffeine than regular Pepsi (but still 77 percent less than coffee or tea), according to the New York Times, was discontinued in 1990.
    Source: PopFi
  4. Four Loko

    Four Loko

    When introduced in 2005, this alcoholic energy drink made by Phusion Projects contained caffeine and other stimulants. Following scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration, however, Four Loko was yanked off shelves and reintroduced in late 2010 without caffeine.

    Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  5. A Snack in the Face cookies

    A Snack in the Face cookies

    After experimenting with 400 mg of caffeine per brownie, about four times the amount in a cup of coffee, the founders of A Snack in the Face dialed back the amount to 200 mg. The website is currently on hiatus as the company moves manufacturing facilities and is not accepting new orders.

    Source: asnackintheface
  6. NRG Energy potato chips

    NRG Energy potato chips

    Golden Flake Snack Foods added taurine, caffeine, and B-vitamins to NRG Phoenix Fury Energy potato chips. Each 1.75 oz bag contained 175 mg of caffeine, according to Golden Flake discontinued production of the chips.
    Source: NRG
  7. Jolt Cola

    Jolt Cola

    Despite having “all the sugar and twice the caffeine” of regular cola, Jolt Cola, introduced in 1985, couldn’t save parent company Wet Planet Beverages from bankruptcy in 2009.

    Source: Consider It Sold
  8. Sumseeds sunflower seeds

    Sumseeds sunflower seeds

    Each bag of Dakota Valley Products’ Sumseeds contains 140 mg of caffeine, in addition to taurine, lysine, and ginseng.

    Source: sumseeds
  9. Morning Spark caffeinated oatmeal

    Morning Spark caffeinated oatmeal

    Manufacturer Sturm discontinued sale of this product several years ago. The caffeinated oatmeal was called “terrible” by Slate, which described the taste as bitter and medicinal.

    Photograph by Martin Hospach