Robrt L. Pela

Wired for snacks

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The heck with Nacho Cheese Doritos. It’s the 21st century, m’ijo, and a Carlsbad, California-based snack company is peddling chips crammed with enough caffeine to choke a mule.

No, we’re not kidding. ARMA Energy SNX (as in snacks – get it?) is offering crispy treats that will wake you up and keep you that way, well past lunchtime. Its Cobra snack is a kettle-cooked barbecue chip cooked in sunflower oil and flavored with the unlikely combination of chili pepper and maple sugar. As odd as that taste combo might be, it is Cobra’s main ingredient – caffeine – that’s even stranger. Apparently, what’s been missing from our Fritos all these years is a cup of joe. 

“ARMA Energy applied the science of premium energy drinks to invent a functional food that kicks the ass of your favorite snacks,” a recent press release from the new company proudly brays. A bag of these tasty crisps, according to their press material, delivers 70 milligrams of caffeine and more than ten times as much taurine, an amino acid and antioxidant which, when combined with caffeine, reportedly improves mental performance.

“We’ve invented the next generation of functional foods,” according to ARMA founder, Jasper Sanfilippo, who refers to himself as “a snack food visionary” with absolutely no irony. “Energy drinks work – so, we applied this science to savory snacks. Now, with ARMA Energy, you can fight fatigue and feed hunger.”

Cobra joins ARMA’s other hyperactivity-inducing treats, which include: Rocket-Propelled Granola; C4 (a chocolate and caramel cookie infused with caffeine); a jittery trail mix, and something called Hellfire, an assortment of almonds, peanuts, pepitas and corn sticks mixed with chipotle and paprika and steeped in caffeine.

Because, who wants food that just lies there, not making you want to do calisthenics?

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