Pop-Tarts

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Pop-Tarts
Pop-Tarts-Box-Small.jpg
Product type Toaster pastry
Owner Kellogg Company
Country USA
Introduced 1964
Markets United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland
Website www.poptarts.com

Pop-Tarts is a brand of rectangular, pre-baked toaster pastries made by the Kellogg Company. Pop-Tarts have a sugary filling sealed inside two layers of rectangular, thin pastry crust. Most varieties are also frosted. Although sold pre-cooked, they are designed to be warmed inside a toaster or microwave oven. They are usually sold in pairs inside foil packages, and do not require refrigeration.

Pop-Tarts are Kellogg's most popular brand to date in the United States, with millions of Pop-Tarts sold each year.[1] They are distributed mainly in the United States, but also in Canada, Finland, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Pop-Tarts were discontinued in Australia in 2005 and are now found only in import stores.[2]

Pop Tarts are similar to Toaster Strudels, which launched in 1985[3] and are now a major competitor,[4] in that they are about the same size and shape and are intended as a breakfast food and snack that is warmed in a bread toaster. However Pop Tarts are thinner, do not need to be refrigerated, the crust has very different texture and flavor, and the Toaster Strudel icing melts at a much lower temperature and is user applied.[5]

History

Post adapted its process for enclosing food in foil to keep it fresh without spoiling—first used for dog food—to its new toaster-prepared breakfast food. Intended to complement its cold cereals, Post announced its new product to the press in 1963, giving them the name "Country Squares".[6]

Because Post had revealed Country Squares before it was ready, Post's biggest competitor, Kellogg, was able to develop its own version in six months. The product, advertised by an animated, anthropomorphic toaster named Milton, became so popular that Kellogg could not keep up with demand.[7]

Originally not frosted when first introduced in 1964,[8] it was later determined that frosting could withstand the toaster, and the first frosted Pop-Tarts were officially released in 1967. The first Pop-Tarts came out in four different flavors: strawberry, blueberry, brown sugar cinnamon, and apple currant.[7] Today, there is a wide variety of Pop-Tart flavors, including chocolate chip, s'mores, raspberry, and French toast.

In 1992, Thomas Nangle sued Kellogg for damages after his Pop-Tart got stuck and caught fire in his toaster. The case gained wider notoriety when humor columnist Dave Barry wrote a column about starting a fire in his own toaster with Pop-Tarts.[9][10] In 1994, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi professor Patrick Michaud performed an experiment showing that, when left in the toaster too long, strawberry Pop-Tarts could produce flames over a foot high.[11] The discovery triggered a flurry of lawsuits. Since then, Pop-Tarts carry the warning: "Due to possible risk of fire, never leave your toasting appliance or microwave unattended."

Pop-Tarts were introduced with fairly substantial marketing to the United Kingdom in the early 1990s, although they have failed to replicate their U.S. success.

In 2001, the United States' military airdropped 2.4 million Pop-Tarts in Afghanistan during the US invasion.[12]

In 2004, Pop-Tarts began a new advertising campaign titled "Crazy Good".[13] Characters that appeared often were a singing lizard and a group of kids, dubbed "crazy-good kids", who commonly frightened the Pop-Tarts and caused them to be eaten or chased away. The ads employ squiggly animation, surreal humor, and non sequitur, all of which bear a strong resemblance to the signature work of animator Don Hertzfeldt. One "crazy-good kid" in particular bears strong resemblance to Billy in Hertzfeldt's Billy's Balloon. However, Hertzfeldt was not involved in any way with these advertisements and in 2006 was considering possible litigation for stealing his work.[14]

In 2006, Pop-Tarts also introduced a version of the product known as Go-Tarts. These were similar to Pop-Tarts, but were thicker, narrow, and wrapped individually (instead of in packages of two). Go-Tarts were discontinued in 2008.

Pop-Tarts World, New York

In 2010, a temporary Pop-Tarts store opened in New York City. It closed on December 31, 2010.

Advertising

Industry trade groups have raised issues with Pop-Tarts advertising.

In 2003, the "Produce for Better Health Foundation" and the "United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association" told the Food and Drug Administration's Obesity Working Group that:[15]

Efforts to capitalize on consumer demand for healthier foods has led to the on and off label promotion of products that contain relatively small amounts of fruits and vegetables and/or contain them as part of a product with unhealthy amounts of fat, sodium, or refined carbohydrates. These products, such as fruit drinks, pop tarts[sic], and highly sugared cereals, are more often energy dense than nutrient dense. FDA, working with the FTC, should strengthen its guidelines to prevent the promotion of products based on their fruit and vegetable content unless these products maintain the integrity of fruits and vegetables as healthy foods, and make a reasonable contribution to the recommended daily intake for fruits and vegetables.

In 2006, the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, prompted by a customer complaint, "recommended that Kellogg modify packaging, eliminate the phrase 'made with real fruit'." Kellogg agreed to do so, and redesigned packages for the Pop-Tarts line accordingly; they assured CARU that the "claim does not appear on television or print advertising" and offered to "participate in CARU's self-regulatory process" and "take CARU's focus areas into consideration" as Kellogg proceeds with its "future child-directed advertising."[16] This decision has since been reversed and current boxes of Pop Tarts continue to pronounce that the product is 'made with real fruit.'

Cable in the Classroom has used a Pop-Tarts television commercial as an example in its media literacy program for children.[17] They ask adults to watch a Pop-Tarts commercial with their children or students and "have them look at how much product information is presented and how much is really about lifestyle or attitude."[18]

Flavors

Pop-Tarts come in 29 flavors.[19]

Recalls

Pop-Tarts have been the subject of various recalls when mislabeling could lead to serious or life-threatening allergic reactions:

  • August 4, 1995[21][dead link]
  • December 6, 2002: Kellogg USA Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Egg in Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon[22]
  • December 14, 2006: Kellogg Company Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Frosted Blueberry Toaster Pastries[23]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Kellogg Company — Kellogg Launches New Pop-Tarts Yogurt Blasts". Investor.kelloggs.com. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  2. ^ "h2g2 - Pop-Tarts". BBC. 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  3. ^ Ramirez, Anthony (December 23, 1985). "In Hot Pursuit of High-Tech Food". Sarah Smith, research associate. Fortune Magazine (Fortune). Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ Harrison, Dan (March 1, 1998). "New Items Spur Growth of Breakfast Foods". Frozen Food Age 46 (8): 16. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Pop Tarts vs Toaster Strudel". diff en. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Trivia — How long have we been munching on Pop-Tarts?". ArcaMax Publishing. 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  7. ^ a b "Nothing More Than Fillings: The True story of the Pop Tarts". Whole Pop Magazine. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Kellogg's(R) Pop-Tarts(R) Approaches 40th Anniversary With 'Design Your Own Pop-Tarts' Contest and Sweepstakes For Kids" (Press release). Kellogg Company. Jan 21, 2004. 
  9. ^ Barry, Dave (June 27, 1993). "The Great Strawberry Pop-Tart Fire". Miami Herald-Journal. p. A12. 
  10. ^ Barry, Dave (June 1993). "Tarts Afire". 
  11. ^ "Strawberry Pop-Tart Blow-Torches". August 1994. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  12. ^ Colin, Chris & Pott, Carol. The Blue Pages. Sausalito, California: PoliPointPress, 2006, p. 69. ISBN 0-9760621-1-9.
  13. ^ How Crazy Good Revitalized The Pop-Tarts Brand
  14. ^ "Killer Rabbit w/info on DARK CRYSTAL 2, PAN'S LABYRINTH, HELLBOY ANIMATED, CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE & more!!!". Ain't It Cool News. July 27, 2006. 
  15. ^ Comments from the Produce for Better Health Foundation and United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association from the Food and Drug Administration website
  16. ^ CARU Recommends Company Modify Packaging for Pop Tarts, a June 20, 2006 press release from the website of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus
  17. ^ Media Literacy 101: VI. Media Have Commercial Interests from the Cable in the Classroom website
  18. ^ Pop Tarts Advertisement from the Cable in the Classroom website
  19. ^ accessdate=April 10, 2013 "Kellogs Pop-Tarts". Kelloggs Company. 
  20. ^ Discontinued Kelloggs Product List
  21. ^ http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ENFORCE/ENF00414.html
  22. ^ "Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts". Fda.gov. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  23. ^ "Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts". Fda.gov. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 

External links