While sweet-toothed Americans nervously await the future of Hostess Ho-Hos and Twinkies, those looking for the next best thing, a caffeine boost, are oddly calm. Giant corporations like Frito-Lay (owned by PepsiCo) are beginning to add coffee/caffeine to popular processed foods. Frito-Lay is modernizing its beloved Sailor Jack and dog Bingo to push Cracker Jack’D Power Bites– a variety of sweet and spicy trail mixes laced with coffee (70mg caffeine/1.25 oz bag). Although the illustration of Sailor Jack clearly depicts a child, Frito-Lay claims their marketing and advertising campaigns will not target children. Jelly Belly Candy Company launched its caffeinated “Extreme Sport Beans” (50mg/1 oz) as a fun supplement to adult workouts. (They sponsor individual professional athletes and teams like the Sacramento Rivercats.) However, due to familiar packaging, incidents of kids mistaking these Jelly Belly Beans for, well, candy, have been reported.
New York Senator Charles Schumer recently asked the FDA to review the safety and legality of AeroShot, a caffeine inhaler (100mg) that can be purchased by children in stores like Circle K. (Note: FDA says kids shouldn’t have more than one 12-ounce (35mg, caffeine) can of Coca-Cola per day). Users of AeroShot inhale fine power that dissolves in the mouth to be swallowed. No spills, no calories, cheaper ($2.99) and more convenient than repeated visits to Starbucks. Inventor of AeroShot is Dr. David Edwards, a professor of biomedical engineering from Harvard University. He also invented Wikicells, edible food packaging to stop plastic waste. Impressive–and he’s sure to work faster now.