The Circus Is Coming To Town

July 25, 2008

I must be coming down with a case of jungle fever because I can’t stop thinking about jungle animals! Granted, we also got another shipment of jungle-themed toys yesterday (photos coming soon!), so that’s probably why I have jungle animals in my mind.

Anyway, I’ve never tried animal crackers before even though I’ve seen the cookies in the cookie aisle, so I thought this is a good time to give it a try because I’m curious as to how food companies shape their cookies into jungle animal shapes. Maybe I’ll get an idea as to what animal to do next for our toy line!

The first type of animal crackers I bought is the Barnum’s Animal Crackers, which I read is the most famous and longest produced (since 1902!).

What great packaging! It’s like a circus-to-go box complete with a string handle on top.

Between the clever packaging and those pictures of animals with their babies, how can you say no?

I don’t know about you, but I can almost hear circus music in the background just by looking at these pictures!

These are the crackers/cookies that I have in the box I bought. I’m actually surprised at the variety of animals in there for such a small box. The details were also surprisingly good – the only cookie that kind of came out a little mushed is the tiger on the very top. Taste wise, it’s like eating into a thin lemon cookie. I could only bring myself to eat the ones that were already broken in the box because I felt somewhat bad biting into a cookie shaped like an animal. Yeah, I tend to over analyze everything!

The second bag of animal crackers I bought is the Stauffer’s brand, which I believe is also a classic.

They also have these packaged in a similar box-with-string a la Barnum’s Animal Crackers that you can view on their site.

There are supposedly 13 different animals, although I could only find 12 styles in my bag. Here are the first 11 displayed together. These crackers are a little more minimalistic in shape with a few edgings on each cracker. Look, there’s even a cat in there too (bottom row, middle cracker). The last shape I found is the elephant, and the two I found in the bag didn’t quite come out so good.

Trunks are hard to bake!

The Stouffer’s animal crackers remind me a lot of cave paintings of animals.

Food imitating art?

The last box I got is Mother’s Cookies.

Side 1: Landscape version of packaging

Side 2: Portrait version of packaging. Two ways to merchandise the same box? Very smart!

The animals on the box look like they are floating up toward the sky, so here’s a shot of the box against real sky.

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s animal cookies!

Wow, the pink icing is really quite pink! The sugar coating is also quite thick, so the animals are harder to differentiate. I could only find what looked to me like a hippo, a lion, an elephant and a camel.

There were also quite a few odd shaped cookies that are open to interpretation. What do you think these are supposed to be?

I see a fat wombat on the left and an anteater on the right.


Room Candy – always yummy!


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