The Margin: Nabisco’s animal crackers have gone cage-free

The Margin: Nabisco’s animal crackers have gone cage-free

Animal crackers, after more than a century behind bars, have busted out.

Responding to a campaign led since 2016 by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Mondelez International Inc. MDLZ, -0.61% , parent company of legacy snacks maker Nabisco, has removed from its Barnum’s Animals–branded crackers the caged-animal imagery evoking a circus transport.

PETA’s executive vice president, Tracy Reiman, commended the box redesign as representative of welcome cultural change. “The new box for Barnum’s Animals crackers perfectly reflects that our society no longer tolerates the caging and chaining of wild animals for circus shows,” she said, according to an Associated Press report.

Mondelez is based in Illinois, which as of Jan. 1 bans circus elephants, while the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus for which the animal-crackers brand is named shut down last year.

Mondelez’s marketing chief, Jason Levine, suggested PETA’s initial letter to Nabisco, which spoke of the “egregious cruelty inherent in circuses,” had not been unwelcome. “[W]we saw this as another great opportunity to continue to keep this brand modern and contemporary,” Levine said, according to a company statement.

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