Why Is There a String on Boxes of Animal Crackers?

The first animal crackers were produced in the US in 1871 by the Stauffer Company, and became so popular that other manufacturers began producing their own versions.

Near the end of 1902 and close to the holiday season, the National Biscuit Company debuted Barnum’s Animal Crackers, which had a circus themed box complete with a string on the top. It was intended to follow the popular European tradition of hanging children’s snacks on Christmas trees as gifts, but the packaging with the string was kept year-round.

More about animal crackers:

  • There are approximately 18 different shapes of animals in animal crackers, such as elephants, lions, bears, donkeys, buffaloes, and rhinos.
  • Animal crackers have small holes throughout the surface as a means of allowing air to ventilate while baking so they don’t lose their shapes.
  • Over 250 tons of animal crackers are produced each year by the Stauffer Company, the original manufacturer of the first US animal crackers.

Discussion Comments


Animal crackers are, no doubt, what gave rise to People Crackers for dogs. The box looked exactly like Animal Crackers, including the string. The crackers were shaped like people that dogs usually bite,i.e., postman, policeman, etc. It was a neat idea, and our toy poodle loved them. They are a good size for small dogs. Unfortunately, the packaging has changed. Too bad. It was a neat idea.

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