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Kellogg's Pop-Tarts: Crazy Good!

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts are the most popular toaster-pastries in the United States and other parts of the world

We have already said this, but we are going to say it again – the modern world is a very hectic place! As such, we look for the most time-efficient ways to consume our daily nutritional needs. That is how Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts came to be. But they were not the first pastry of its kind… (more on this later). What is important to know is that Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts are the most popular toaster-pastries in the United States and other parts of the world.

Strawberry Pop-Tarts

Figure 1 - Strawberry Pop-Tarts

There is a lot of great information on Kellogg’s and their Pop-Tarts. From an interesting origin story to an even more interesting trivia, we have divided the article into several different sections for an easier read. Firstly, we will begin with a general overview of the company and how Kellogg’s was created.

After this, we are going to focus on the pastries’ history, and after that we are going to round-out the article with an interesting trivia section. There are many facts about the delicious Pop-Tarts that you are probably not aware of. Without further-ado, let’s begin with a quick overview of Kellogg’s and their history.

A quick overview of Kellogg’s, their history and their values

Just by glancing over the Kellogg’s official site, it is clear from the first few paragraphs that they have their consumer base in mind. As the company says, they are always looking for ways to increase the nutritional values of their products while still retaining the same taste.

While all of this sounds good, we have to remember that every modern company takes its consumer base into consideration. A company that does not cater their products to the consumer is highly unlikely to be a successful business. The consumer base dictates the trends in the market, and the modern majority of consumers wish to know what they are eating.

Kellogg’s was actually the first company to introduce this novelty. All the way back in the 1930s, the owner and leader of Kellogg’s, W. K. Kellogg, decided to implement nutritional labelling on the packaging. Not only that, but in 2007 they were amongst the first companies to also add “guideline daily amounts” which indicate just how much sugar, fat, calories etc. you should consume on a regular basis.

Kellogg’s – seeking to brighten many futures

Other than seeking new ways by which to create the perfect mix of nutritional and healthy, Kellogg’s also has its own foundation dedicated to charity and good-will. The foundation is named after the creator of the company – the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The foundation annually donates millions of dollars to charities across the globe.

Cherry Pop-Tarts

Figure 2 - Cherry Pop-Tarts

The foundation mostly donates its money to governmental and non-governmental charities that provide food to the most endangered parts of the society, such as homeless people or poor families. While this is, again, admirable, we have to take into consideration that many companies donate to charity in order to gain tax reliefs.

However, the tax reliefs are given as an incentive for the companies to do their part for the community, and Kellogg has donated a whooping five-point-five billion dollars to charity. The fact that they have donated so much money is incredible and praise-worthy. Along with their transparency concerning nutrition, this places Kellogg as one of the more trustworthy companies out there.

Kellogg also has an entire “army” of volunteers that participate in the “Days of Caring.” These are annual events in which thousands of Kellogg’s workers give their contributions by improving parks and playgrounds and restoring the ones that have fallen into disrepair.

A quick history of Kellogg’s and how they came to be

From the quick overview, we can see that Kellogg’s is a trustworthy company with many admirable goals. But how did Kellogg’s came to be?

Kellogg’s, of course, originates from the United States. They are a company that has been around for over one-hundred and twenty years, so naturally, they have a lot of important dates and milestones in their history. Kellogg’s is not only known for its Pop-Tarts, but also for its corn flakes, which the Kellogg Brothers invented in 1898 when they accidentally flaked wheat berry.

Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts

Figure 3 - Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts

Later on, the Kellogg brothers would expand their business by forming the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company. They would open this company in 1906 and hire forty-four new employees. It was with the help of these first forty-four employees that they launched the initial batch of Kellogg’s Corn flakes.

Eight years later, Kellogg’s expanded into a new market farther up north, into Canada. The first product they introduced to the Canadian consumers was Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Later on, they would expand into a number of different countries like the United Kingdom, Australia (although the distribution of Kellogg’s products is currently discontinued in Australia), Mexico, Japan and others.

One year after their debut in the Canadian market, Kellogg’s expanded their line of products by creating the first high-fibre cereal. One year later, in 1916, they would also launch their iconic Kellogg’s All-Bran corn flakes.

Kellogg’s, it appears, was a trend-setter when it came to novelties in the food industry. Along with being the first company to implement the nutritional values of their products on their packaging, they were also the first to hire a dietitian. All of these changes played a major part in how the snacks industry operates today.

Soon enough, however, the Great Depression began, the period of time in US history which marked the economic decline of the country. Many people suffered and lived in horrible conditions, but Kellogg’s was able to persevere through it, and it was around this time that they founded the W. K. Kellogg foundation. The foundation helped those most affected by the depression.

In 1997, Kellogg’s opened up their W. K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition Research, furthering their goals of creating more nutritional pastries. Numerous scientists, nutritionists and engineers work at the institute in order to create great-tasting and healthy snacks.

Today, the company is still upholding the values instilled in them by their founder W. K. Kellogg. They have expanded into the markets of over a hundred and eighty countries across the globe. They still expand their lines of products with new flavours and continue to experience an increase in their annual revenues.

Brown Cinnamon Pop-Tarts

Figure 4 - Brown Cinnamon Pop-Tarts

A quick history of Kellogg’s beloved Pop-Tarts

Now that you know more about the company and its past, it is time we delved into the history of their most popular toaster-pastry – the Pop-Tarts! There are so many interesting facts connected with the creation of these delicious breakfast snacks that we might not be able to fit them all into the article, but we will give it our best try.

The Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts were launched in 1963 as pre-baked pastries that could be heated up in a toaster or a microwave. When the Pop-Tarts were launched, they were advertised by an animated, anthropomorphic toaster named Milton.

The pastries proved to be a huge hit, and soon enough, the company was strained to meet up with demands! There was also this one time when they had to issue a public apology, because they were out of Pop-Tarts to distribute to shops and markets across the country.

The original Pop-Tarts came without a frosting. They were not frosted due to the fact that the management of Kellogg’s didn’t believe the frosting could withstand toaster heat, and that it would melt. But soon, a heat-resistant frosting was developed, and the board gave immediate approval to launch the frosted pastries in 1967.

The first Pop-Tarts debuted in four distinct flavours – strawberry (which is still the most sold flavour of Pop-Tarts), blueberry, brown sugar cinnamon and apple currant. Of course, over time, Kellogg’s expanded its range of flavours, some of which became permanent additions, while others were only sold as limited editions only.

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts would take a long time to reach other markets, although it was a huge success in the United States. The Pop-Tarts debuted in the United Kingdom in the 1990s, followed by a large marketing campaign. They company failed to emulate the success it had in America, but the UK market proved to be profitable, nonetheless.

Smore's Pop-Tarts

Figure 5 - Smore's Pop-Tarts

Another great achievement for the Pop-Tarts is that their sales have been increasing for the past 32 years straight. It is mostly due to the major consumer base. Kids love them, teenagers love them, even moms with full-time jobs love them! All of this has enabled Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts to experience a steady, consecutive increase in its sales.

We’ve purposefully left out a LOT of the interesting facts connected with both the launch of the Pop-Tarts, the frosting, the flavours and how it got its name. We decided to leave all of this for the trivia section and believe us when we say… there are many interesting facts about the Pop-Tarts. Shall we begin?

Interesting trivia about Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts!

We’ve gone ahead and made a list of the most interesting facts we could find about Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts. For example, did you know that Andy Warhol (yes, THAT Andy Warhol) is connected with the pastries’ name? But more on that soon enough… why don’t we begin with the first fact on our trivia list?

  1. The Pop-Tarts were not the first pastry of its kind. That’s right ladies and gents, it might be hard to believe but the most popular toaster-pastry was not the first toaster-pastry to be invented! That title goes to Post’s Country Squares.

    What are Country Squares you ask? Well, they’re basically the same thing as Pop-Tarts, and they were actually to be the first toaster-pastry of its kind… however, the company pre-emptively launched an advertising campaign promoting their new product, without actually distributing the product.

    They kept the product in their labs for further development and testing, which allowed their competitor, Kellogg’s, to create their own version, in just half-a-years’ time! With this move, Kellogg’s was able to steal Post’s thunder, and the Pop-Tarts proved to be the superior product in the end.
     
  2. Andy Warhol is responsible for the pastries’ name. If you’re an art aficionado, then you’ve probably heard of the modern pop art founder, Andy Warhol. He was extremely popular back in the 1960s, with a huge base of fans and followers. Kellogg’s decided to use this to their advantage, so they came up with a name that paid tribute to Warhol.

    Warhol was obsessed with the consumerist culture and always strived to show its positive or negative effects on the society as a whole. The Pop-Tarts were named in honour of his movement, called pop art. We believe the artist was pleased with this name, as it sure sounds more tantalizing than Country Squares.
     
  3. Kellogg’s had the honour of supplying the first expedition to the Moon with its pastries. “Houston, we have a problem… we’re all out of Pop-Tarts up here! Could you send some more?”

    Yes, Kellogg’s was the company that supplied the first astronauts on the Moon with their sweet breakfast pastries… When you think about it, Pop-Tarts were amongst the first meals to be eaten outside of Earth!
     
  4. Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts make for great flamethrower ammunition. Seriously, if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, all you need to do is take a portable toaster, place the Pop-Tarts inside, leave them to “cook” for some time and aim the toaster in the direction of the zombies. Those suckers will be fried to a crisp in a matter of seconds.

    But jokes aside, the Pop-Tarts are highly flammable products and shouldn’t be left to heat without supervision. The company attracted a lot of negative attention this way, as many people tested the Pop-Tarts and determined that the flames from a burning Pop-Tarts could reach a height of one feet!

    Of course, many people started filling lawsuits against the company, and ever since then, the company had to issue warnings on their packaging not to leave the Pop-Tarts unattended while they were heating up in the microwave.
     
  5. There was a Pop-Tart shop in New York City. That’s right, Kellogg’s opened up this thematic shop in New York City back in 2010. The store was open for some time before it was closed, and it had everything, from light shows to sushi.

    We see you raising your eyebrows… “Sushi? Why would a pastry maker sell sushi?” Well, as a matter of fact, it wasn’t actually sushi… but rather a mix of different Pop-Tart flavours in the shape of sushi. The store was popular amongst children, but it had to close down very soon. It was a temporary attraction.
     
  6. There are multiple ways you can eat Pop-Tarts, just like Oreo. Yes, and this is, unbelievably, a hotly debated topic! Even the staff at Kellogg’s fights over the best way to eat a Pop-Tart (in a friendly manner of course). The first is to eat them straight out of the package, while the second would be to heat them up first.

    The author had the pleasure of trying out these pastries for himself, and to him, both ways are good.

A concluding word about Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts are a beloved breakfast pastry for Americans across the United States. They are an iconic part of the American culture and have been a part of numerous breakfasts for decades now. Kellogg’s is also a trust-worthy and an accomplished company, with numerous novelties and milestones. The Pop-Tarts have been experiencing a steady increase in sales for thirty-two years straight, so it’s safe to say that they’re here to stay for a very long time. We hope you’ve enjoyed the article. Cheers until next time!


Leading image: Duntrune Studios/Shutterstock.com

 

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