Nabisco Frees Its Animals After More Than a Century

Animal Crackers are not behind bars any longer although it took 116 years to accomplish.

The Barnum’s Animals, a classic snack from Nabisco, has changed its packaging and no longer depicts the exotic animals inside cages any longer. Instead an elephant, lion, giraffe, zebra and gorilla are roaming amongst trees and grass.

This change arrived after the urging by People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an animal rights group that said in April of 2016 to Mondelez International the parent company of Nabisco that circuses are known to shock, chain, whip and beat animals to intimidate them into performances. Other practices that are cruel include tearing the baby animals from their mothers and holding animals in chains inside cages.

A spokesperson for Mondelez called the animal crackers one of the company’s oldest product in its portfolio and the company is always looking at ways to remain modern and contemporary with customers.

The packaging of Barnum’s Animals has gone through changes before and occasionally the animal crackers boxes have had temporary changes made, such as for an awareness program by the World Wildlife Fund. The new packages sans cages are already on store shelves.

The name of the animal crackers will not be changed. It is in reference to P.T. Barnum the showman whose moniker was part of the long running U.S. circus Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, also referred to the “Greatest Show on Earth.”

Ringling Bros. shuttered its doors during May of 2017 following a run of 146 years citing high costs of operation, legal battles with animal rights groups and a drop in ticket sales once circus owners agreed to no longer us elephants in its show, which was a concession to the societal and legal pressure that were opposed to that practice continuing to increase.

The executive vice president of PETA said the redesign was being celebrated just as the organization celebrated the end of the circus and the introduction of bans across the U.S. of animal circuses.

Even though the bars on the animal crackers box were very small, some people paid close attention to the design of the packaging said one branding expert in Chicago.