Animal Crackers are a beloved treat that has been around for years, and after over a century of keeping its animals behind bars, Nabisco redesigned the Barnum’s Animals crackers, setting them free.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, also known as PETA, has been protesting against using animals in circus acts for more than three decades. During the spring of 2016, PETA wrote an urging letter to Mondelez International; the parent company behind Nabisco. The Barnum’s Animals crackers old box showed an elephant, polar bear, lion, and a gorilla in cages, with a clear indication that the animals were being transported to the circus.
PETA urged Nabisco to redesign their packaging to showcase animals that are free to roam happily in their natural habitats instead of behind cages. They used the horrendous cruelty that has been proven in some circuses that use animals and the support of the percentage of the public that’s against the use of animals for entertainment.
Mondelez International agreed with PETA and began a redesign over the century-old design. The name of the crackers came from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus folded permanently after 146 years. The circus had also removed the use of elephants during its show in 2016 due to pressure from PETA.
The newly designed boxes can now be found on American shelves, and they still have the classic Barnum’s Animals font and red and yellow colors. However, instead of the animals appearing in cages, there is a zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe, and a gorilla meandering side-by-side in their natural habitat. There is also an outline of acacia trees that can be seen in the distance.
Mondelez International’s North American chief marketing officer stated that they saw PETA’s letter as an opportunity to ensure the brand remained both modern and contemporary. The parent company headquarters is in Illinois, a state that passed a ban on circuses using elephants in January. Currently, there are over 80 cities in the United States that have, at the minimum, partially banned any circus that uses wild animals, as per Animals Defenders International.
PETA is celebrating the success of the redesign of Barnum’s Animals crackers and has stated that the new packaging is ideal. It shows that society is no longer tolerating caging, chaining, and any cruelty towards wild animals for entertainment in circus shows.
The crackers have been in production since 1902, and while Nabisco and Mondelez International have released various, limited edition designs of the boxes before, this one is permanent. As of now, the company isn’t saying how many boxes of animal crackers they sell yearly.