Frito-Lay is putting a twist on the favorite snack of America's favorite pastime. The PepsiCo subsidiary announced Tuesday a new version of Cracker Jack, one of sports' most iconic snacks for the past 125 years, officially unveiling Cracker Jill. The new face to the Cracker Jack roster was introduced as part of an effort "to celebrate the women who break down barriers in sports."
Set to be available in professional ballparks across the country at the start of this year's baseball season and also through a donation of $5 or more to the Women's Sports Foundation, Cracker Jill was brought to life by artist and model Monica Ahanonu, who created five different representations on a series of special-edition bags. The five portraits, Frito-Lay said, celebrate the diversity throughout the country, as they were inspired by the most represented ethnicities in the U.S., per data from the U.S. Census Bureau. While Cracker Jill was created to coincide with the opening of the 2022 baseball season, Frito-Lay said "the intention is for Jill to continue to join Sailor Jack as a member of the team roster and part of the brand ethos."
"We are constantly inspired by the many women who are making history by breaking the mold, and we want to celebrate their achievements while supporting the progress," Tina Mahal, vice president, marketing at Frito-Lay North America, said in a press release. "Cracker Jack has been part of sports for over a century, as records were made and rules changed. We've been so inspired by how girls and women are changing the face of the game, so in this spirit we introduce Cracker Jill to show girls that they're represented even in our most iconic snacks."
Taking the revamp to the homestretch, Frito-Lay recruited award-winning artist Normani to reimagine the classic "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" song. The traditional song includes the lyrics, "buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack," though Normani's reimagined version updates the lyrics to include Cracker Jill. Normani said she is "proud to be part of a campaign entrenched in inclusivity and empowerment because it's vital for young girls to see themselves represented and join in on the celebration of the achievements made by the women before them."
In addition to unveiling Cracker Jill, Frito-Lay is celebrating women in sports by making a $200,000 donation to the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF). The national non-profit helps "girls and women across the country reach their potential in sport and life." Danette Leighton, WSF CEO, said "it's wonderful to see Cracker Jill come to life, emphasizing the power that representation can have by celebrating women who've broken barriers."