The brand is aimed at 18- to-24-year-olds, and it's the first time the former heavyweight champion's image has been used in the marketplace since he sold most of the rights to it last year for $50 million.
The snack food--shaped like boxing gloves, medicine balls, ropes, speed bags and body shields--is produced with Mars Inc. through a company called G.O.A.T., which stands for "Greatest Of All Time."
The snacks, which include fruit crumbles, crunchy mixes and flavored crisps, are given boxing-related names such as Rumble, Shuffle and Jabs. The flavors include "Fruit Fight," "Thrill-A-Dill-A" and "Slammin' Salsa."
The move is part of a trend among marketers to use the images of celebrities to increase the appeal of their products. Hershey last year announced it will market a limited-edition peanut butter and banana crème Reese's under the Elvis Presley name.
Paul Arbor, president of Images.com, says it isn't surprising that Mars would choose Ali's image to captivate its target audience, since Ali represents a champion who is courageously battling Parkinson's disease.
"It's always a risk to use celebrities because you don't know what they might do," said Arbor, who has extensive experience in celebrity licensing. "In Muhammad Ali's case, you can be pretty sure he won't be doing anything embarrassing. Even though college students weren't around at Ali's peak, they still think of him as a world-class athlete."
The snacks go on sale at Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, the University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State and Yale, with 20 more colleges to follow by February.
New flavors will roll out every few months.