11 Wild Info About Animal Crackers

They’re crunchy like crackers, sweet like cookies, and have been delighting young ones all over the globe for a lot more than a century. We’re speaking, of program, about animal crackers, the itty-bitty zoo denizens that are so nostalgic and addictive that they have their very own specifically devoted holiday getaway. April 18 is Nationwide Animal Crackers Working day, and to celebrate this wholly created-up (but wholesomely pleasurable!) working day, we’ve dug up 11 delicious tidbits about the chunk-sized snack beasts.

As early as the 1800s, animal-formed cookies (or “biscuits” as they’re regarded in the U.K.) were being becoming devoured throughout the pond. They turned so preferred that Individuals wished a piece way too, and stateside bakers commenced experimenting with their possess recipes. The earliest regarded of the so-identified as “animal” recipes to pop up was in an 1870s publication named Strategies of the Bakers’ and Confectioners’ Trade, written by J.D. Hounihan.

Stephanie Cochran via Flickr// CC BY-NC-ND 2.

The time period “animal crackers” refers to a form of snack and not to a certain brand name. In simple fact, there are various U.S. manufacturers that make the treats. Stauffer Biscuit Corporation was the to start with in 1871, and they’ve been utilizing the exact recipe for their version because the convert of the 20th century. Currently, a lot more than 40 million deals of animal crackers are offered just about every calendar year close to the world and are exported to 17 nations around the world.

Niall Kennedy through Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.

In 1902, Nabisco started marketing what they named Barnum’s Animals. Named soon after 1 of the country’s greatest showmen, P.T. Barnum, the circus-themed crackers were being the initially to be sold in a little, snack-sizing package in advance of then, all crackers ended up marketed in bulk from a barrel (which is the place the term “cracker barrel” will come from).

Meanwhile, Barnum—arguably the most renowned self-promoter in history—wasn’t in on the box that bore his identify and, to this day, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus doesn’t get a reduce or a licensing payment.

The familiar circus-practice package, with its bottom wheels and deal with on prime, has been in enjoy considering the fact that Nabisco began production them far more than a hundred many years in the past. Originally conceived as a Xmas gift-turned-ornament, the package was intended to be hung on a Christmas trees by its string. At the time, containers of Barnum’s Animals crackers expense 5 cents a pop.

Each individual change at Nabisco’s New Jersey factory employs somewhere around 30 miles of string for the handles at the best of the cartons. This interprets to a whopping 8000 miles of string a calendar year. Other fun information: The crackers are held in a 300-foot-extensive oven for about 4 minutes, which suggests they are baked at a level of 12,000 for every minute.


It is a digital zoo out there, but Nabisco’s Barnum’s can declare to have developed the most animals of any brand name with 37 various creatures about the decades. Now, a 2-ounce box of Barnum’s consists of 22 crackers that includes 19 diverse animals.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of their crackers, Nabisco sponsored a identify-our-subsequent-animal contest in 2002. The overwhelming winner was the cuddly koala bear, which beat out the penguin, walrus, and cobra as the animal most little ones want to crunch into.

Until finally 1958, Nabisco’s animal shapes were being stamped from a dough sheet by cookie cutters, which made outlines that were being rudimentary at best. Following rotary dies were put in, the cookies became considerably extra distinctive, with engraved models that exposed a surprising total of depth. The rotary dies are nevertheless employed these days.


No one particular has been equipped to type out why, particularly, the monkey seems in a pair of pants when all the other animals are au naturel, but it is a been a hot matter of discussion on net boards for several years. In a 1998 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the clothes conundrum is described in passing, when Oz rhetorically asks Willow, “Do the other cookie animals come to feel sorta ripped? Like, is the hippo likely, ‘Hey, wherever are my pants? I have my hippo dignity.'”

Just about every youngster goes for the head first, which was what Nabisco execs had been counting on when they revealed a distinctive endangered assortment of Barnum’s Animal Crackers in 1995 to reward the World Wildlife Fund. The 16 at-chance animals featured in each individual limited-version jungle-motif box provided Komodo dragons, peregrine falcons, Hawaiian monk seals, and Bactrian camels. Greg Rate, a solution manager at Nabisco at the time, explained to The New York Instances, “What do people today like about animal crackers? Biting off the heads! Our hope was that small children will line them up, match them up with the names on the box, study about them and then decapitate them.”

In the 1935 movie Curly Major, pint-sized actress Shirley Temple performed a ditty about the childhood favourite identified as “Animal Crackers in My Soup,” which Nabisco went on to use for lots of of its commercials in the adhering to several years. In it, she sings the lyric “monkeys and rabbits loop the loop,” but rabbits have never been amongst the furry close friends included in offers of animal crackers—at least not those in Barnum’s Animals offers.

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