Animal Crackers are a specific type of small cracker baked in the shape of an animal. Animal cracker animals are typically those that are seen in a zoo or circus. Animal crackers as made by Market Square Food Company under its Happy Snacks brand include the Hippo, Lion, Buffalo, Goat, Fox, Elephant, Bear, and Camel.
The most common variety of animal cracker is a light colored dough formed from flour and sweetened mildly. In addition, numerous other varieties exist, including chocolate flavored, chocolate chip, cinnamon and many others. Market Square is unique in that it has several proprietary recipes for numerous flavored animal crackers the company has made for many years.
One common question about animal crackers is the following: What is the difference between an animal cracker and a animal cookie?
The answer: Although animal crackers (pictured to the left) are made with a layered dough like crackers, they are sweet like cookies. Animal crackers are typically formed using what's referred to as a wire-cut die.
Animal Cookies (pictured on the right), on the other hand, are formed using a rotary die. As you can see from the picture to the right, the level of detail on an animal cookie typically far exceeds that of an animal cracker. The reason for that is a wire-cutter only is able to form the outside edges for the shape of the animal, but there is no aspect of the wire-cut manufacturing process that can form details to the top of the cookie, such as eyes, ears, and shapes for limbs, as seen to the right and as formed using the rotary die manufacturing process.
Animal crackers first came onto the scene in England in the late 19th century. These English snacks were usually shaped as circus animals and were called “biscuits”. The United States imported the cookies from England and sometime around the start of the 20th century began to produce them at home to satisfy the large demand.
It’s not often a product that becomes so beloved by the public remains relatively unchanged for over a hundred years. The animal cracker has become one of those symbols that is engrained in western sensibilities. Nothing says, “trustworthy” more than a product that we eagerly give to our children. Not only are the animal crackers baked into endearing animal shapes, but they also “live” in vivid, colorful packages and taste great too!
Consumers are particular and prefer a snack that is nutritious and delicious for themselves and, if they have them, their children. Animal crackers are also a learning tool as visual concepts and leave fond memories that last well into adulthood. We've found that adults of all ages are enthusiastic consumers of our animal crackers as a healthier, more nutritious alternative to other cookie options.