PLANO, Texas - Cracker Jack, one of America's favorite snacks, is winding up for baseball's Opening Day with its newest product introduction, "Nothing But Nuts" and the launch of a new series of miniature baseball prizes found inside Cracker Jack Original and Cracker Jack Butter Toffee bags.
And to honor some of the game's most unsung heroes, Cracker Jack has recruited baseball legend Reggie Jackson in the first-ever search for the "Cracker Jack Vendor of the Year." The competition pits 10 stadium vendors from baseball cities nationwide who will use their enthusiastic selling style and technique to vie for the ultimate baseball "Prize Inside," a specially designed VW Cracker Jack Baseball Beetle and a lifetime supply of Cracker Jack products.
Walter McNeil of Plymouth, Minnesota is among the 10 vendors competing for the Cracker Jack Vendor of the Year award in New York City on Thursday, March 30. McNeil has served as a vendor for 31 years at HHH Metrodome (see attached biography).
Nothing But Nuts & New Series of Baseball Prizes
"Nothing But Nuts" is a 3-ounce bag of the brand's proprietary peanuts and is made using the special Cracker Jack recipe. This is the first time in the brand's 107-year history that Cracker Jack nuts, which are coated with a butter toffee flavoring, will be available in its own package. "Nothing But Nuts" is priced at 99 cents and will be available in retail outlets nationwide beginning in April.
"For years, Cracker Jack consumers have been literally singing for more nuts," said Dwight Riskey, Frito-Lay Senior Vice President, Development Group. "For generations, dedicated baseball fans have been chanting, 'Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack' as part of baseball's anthem 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame.' Now, fans across the country can enjoy both - the traditional Cracker Jack products and the new 'Nothing But Nuts' snack."
In May, Cracker Jack will reach out again to fans of America's favorite game with a new series of miniature baseball prizes found inside Cracker Jack Original and Cracker Jack Butter Toffee bags. The new prizes look like miniature baseball caps, fields and gloves - however they offer an added surprise: some are whistles, others are telescopes.
As part of the baseball prize series, Cracker Jack is giving consumers an opportunity to win the grand prize: a limited edition VW Cracker Jack Baseball Beetle. This custom designed car features a white exterior with red stitch-like design, a baseball gearshift, baseball bat emergency brake, Rawlings leather interior and a special sound system that plays "Take Me Out To the Ballgame." Additionally, nearly 10,000 consumers have the opportunity to win a remote-control car that is a replica of the VW Cracker Jack Baseball Beetle.
Reggie Jackson To Select Baseball's 'Cracker Jack Vendor of the Year"
To honor some of baseball's unsung heroes, Cracker Jack and baseball great Reggie Jackson will search for the "Cracker Jack Vendor of the Year." The competition, which will take place on March 30 in New York City, pits 10 stadium vendors who will use their enthusiastic selling style and technique to vie for the ultimate baseball "Prize Inside," a VW Cracker Jack Baseball Beetle and a lifetime supply of Cracker Jack products.
"In a salute to all the talented men and women who work so hard to put Cracker Jack into the hands of thousands of baseball fans across the country, we will honor the best of the best with the Cracker Jack Vendor of the Year award," said Reggie Jackson. Jackson will serve as official judge of the competition and present the grand prize to the winner.
Selected with assistance from the vendor management company Volume Services America, the 10 vendors were chosen for their selling skills at baseball events in their hometowns including New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, San Diego and Kansas City. The vendors will compete in a variety of competitions for the grand prize including:
'Cracker Jack Toss' - hitting a target with bags of Cracker Jack
'Snack Carry' - carrying a tray of soda and Cracker Jack around the bases in the least amount of time
'Cracker Jack Call' - demonstrating a unique and loud call
'Cracker Jack Sing-a-Long' - singing the Cracker Jack anthem
'Cracker Jack Pitch' - pitching the Cracker Jack baseball with the fastest speed
'Cracker Jack Prize Search' - finding the 'prize inside' a bag of Cracker Jack with the least number of Cracker Jack falling out of the bag
Volume Services America is one of North America's largest providers of food, beverage, merchandise and facility design and management services for sports, convention centers and entertainment vendors.
Cracker Jack was purchased by Frito-Lay in 1997. Frito-Lay, Inc., which is headquartered in Plano, TX, is the $11 billion snack food division of PepsiCo, Inc., based in Purchase, NY. Frito-Lay is the market leader in half of the world's top 10 snack chip markets with operations in 40 countries and a family of global, multi-billion dollar brands including Lay's Potato Chips, Doritos Tortilla Chips and Cheetos Cheese-Flavored Snacks.