US: PepsiCo defends development of 'caffeinated' snacks

By Dean Best | 16 November 2012

PepsiCo dismisses concern over caffein in snacks

PepsiCo dismisses concern over caffein in snacks

PepsiCo has defended its plans to launch snacks in the US containing caffeine.

The food and beverage giant will roll out a range of snacks later this year including lines containing coffee.

The Cracker Jack'd range will include wafers containing coffee and, PepsiCo insisted, have been developed "specifically" for adults and will be packaged different to its existing Cracker Jack products.

Earlier this week, US consumer watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest had called for a "crackdown" on "caffeinated snacks" after news of PepsiCo's plans.

CSPI said the use of "added caffeine" was against Food and Drug Administration regulations and called on Washington to take action.

"If government regulators don’t take some kind of action, products like Frito-Lay’s Cracker Jack'd could set off a new craze in which manufacturers add caffeine to more and more varieties of foods and beverages," CSPI said.

CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson said some demographic groups, including children, could be "put at risk" unless the FDA "begins enforcing its regulations"

A spokesperson for PepsiCo's Frito-Lay stood by the company's plans, pointing out it was still in the process of "optimising the product design". He questioned CSPI's claims.

"At this point, we expect [the products] to contain approximately 70 mg of caffeine from coffee in each two-ounce package," the spokesperson told just-food. "We stand by the safety of all products in the Cracker Jack’d line, including those that contain coffee. It is worth pointing out the regulation referenced in CSPI's letter to FDA speaks to caffeine - not coffee - and is not an exhaustive list of the safe uses of caffeine in foods and beverages. Rather it represents one particular recognised safe use."

He added: "Cracker Jack’d is a product line specifically developed for adult consumers and will not be marketed to children. All marketing for the products will be exclusively aimed at adult consumers, and the package design and appearance are wholly different from Cracker Jack to ensure there is no confusion among consumers. The presence of coffee and the caffeine that comes with it is clearly called out on both the front and back of the package."

Sectors: Commodities & ingredients, Food safety, NPD & innovation, Snacks

Companies: PepsiCo

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