Nabisco’s Animal Crackers Won’t Appear In Cages On The Box Anymore

Here is some good news for animals and the kids who love them: Nabisco has decided to “free” the animals on the boxes of their Barnum’s Animals Crackers.

The iconic packaging with animals in cages, which has been a constant of the brand since as far back as 1902, is getting a major design update. The animals featured on the box — such as the zebra, lion and giraffe — will no longer be shown behind bars in a circus cage. Instead, they’ll run free in a natural setting.

The decision may seem minor if you aren’t paying close attention to the packaging, but animal welfare experts are praising the decision, saying it’s significant and should be widely celebrated.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had been pushing for the change and proposed the idea, even sending the Nabisco company a new design to consider:


Nabisco didn’t use PETA’s design, but they did create their own that takes PETA’s cues about the animals appearing in a free environment.

“It’s probably one of, if not the oldest, (product) in our portfolio,” Kimberly Fontes, spokeswoman for Nabisco’s parent company, Mondelez, told USA Today. “We’re always looking to see how to keep it modern, to keep it contemporary with customers.”

Now, PETA is thanking Nabisco for making the change to their packaging:

“The new box for Barnum’s Animals perfectly reflects that our society no longer tolerates caging and chaining exotic animals for circus shows,” wrote Zachary Toliver, of PETA, of the change. “Elephants, tigers, bears, and other animals in circuses are forced to perform under the threat of punishment with sticks, bullhooks, whips, or electric prods. These living, feeling beings are torn away from their families and subjected to beatings, isolation, and neglect. Animals abused in circuses will continue to be treated like inanimate toys void of emotion as long as people continue to pay for admission to these performances.”

Bob Killian, a branding expert based in Chicago, told USA Today that customers pay attention to even small details in packaging. “What took them so long?” he said. “There’s nobody’s who pro-cage, so I don’t see what they have to lose.”