National Animal Crackers Day

Child holding a box of animal crackers, surrounded by colorful balloons and a whimsical circus backdrop..
National animal crackers day illustration

Get ready to celebrate National Animal Crackers Day, a day dedicated to these crunchy sweet treats that have been a childhood staple for generations. Whether you prefer biting off the heads, legs, or just gobbling them up whole, animal crackers have been delighting both kids and adults alike. So, grab a box of these whimsical snacks and let's dive into the fascinating history of National Animal Crackers Day!

When is Animal Crackers Day?

It's national animal crackers day on the 18th April.

The Origins of Animal Crackers

Animal crackers have been around for over a century, bringing joy to countless snackers. These iconic goodies first appeared in the late 19th century when a German immigrant by the name of Gustav A. Mayer started producing animal-shaped cookies in his bakery in New York. Originally called "Barnum's Animals," these bite-sized treats were inspired by the circus and featured whimsical animal shapes.

The crackers gained popularity throughout the years, and in 1902, the National Biscuit Company, now known as Nabisco, officially acquired the recipe and branding rights. They rebranded the cookies as "Barnum's Animals" and started selling them in the iconic packaging featuring a circus-themed box with a string handle. The familiar red box with a string handle quickly became a beloved symbol of the animal crackers we know today.

Throughout the decades, animal crackers have remained a beloved snack, finding their way into lunchboxes, picnic baskets, and even pop culture. They have been a mainstay of children's snacks and continue to be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Celebrating National Animal Crackers Day

On National Animal Crackers Day, embrace your inner child and indulge in a box of these delightful treats. You can enjoy them on their own or use them in creative ways to enhance other sweet creations. Decorate cupcakes or ice cream sundaes with animal crackers for a whimsical twist, or even use them to create a fun edible art project.

Additionally, National Animal Crackers Day is the perfect opportunity to share this childhood favorite with loved ones. Host an animal-themed tea party or playdate, complete with animal crackers as the star of the menu. Get crafty and make animal cracker-themed decorations or even try your hand at baking your own batch of animal-shaped cookies.

Did You Know?

Did you know that animal crackers have made their way into the Guinness World Records? In 2017, the largest box of animal crackers was created in New York and measured a whopping 4 feet by 6 feet. Now that's a whole new level of snacking!

History behind the term 'Animal Crackers'


Introduction of Barnum's Animal Crackers

In 1902, the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) introduced a sweet and playful snack called Barnum's Animal Crackers. Inspired by the circus, these bite-sized crackers were shaped like various animals such as lions, elephants, bears, and monkeys. They quickly became a popular treat, loved by both children and adults.


The iconic animal-shaped box

By 1905, the packaging of Barnum's Animal Crackers underwent a transformation, making it even more distinctive and iconic. The crackers were now sold in a box designed to resemble a circus wagon, complete with a handle on top for easy carrying. This unique packaging added an element of fun and enchantment, enhancing the overall appeal of the product.


Animal Crackers become a year-round snack

In 1967, Nabisco decided to produce Barnum's Animal Crackers all year rather than only during the circus season. This decision was met with great enthusiasm, as it allowed people to enjoy their favorite animal-shaped snacks whenever they pleased. The crackers became a staple in lunchboxes, picnic baskets, and snack time rituals across the nation.


Revamped packaging with animals roaming free

In 2018, after over a century with animals depicted in circus cages on their packaging, Nabisco updated the design of the Barnum's Animal Crackers' box. Responding to changing societal attitudes towards animal welfare and captivity, the new packaging now features a more compassionate depiction of animals, with lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, and gorillas roaming freely in a grassy landscape. The revamped packaging aimed to reflect the evolving cultural values and promote awareness about animal conservation.

Did you know?

Did you know that animal crackers have made their way into the Guinness World Records? In 2017, the largest box of animal crackers was created in New York and measured a whopping 4 feet by 6 feet. Now that's a whole new level of snacking!


food fun loved ones

First identified

18th April 2015

Most mentioned on

18th April 2016

Total mentions


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