The funny thing is that
Kellogg's did not invent the toaster pastry. That was arch-rival Post. Its
just that Kellogg's was the first to do it right and so stole the market
away from Post. Sit down, have a Pop Tart, well tell you the story.
by La reine de joie
by Toulouse- Lautrec.
After World War II, Post had a research team working to come up with new
non-cereal products. Their first successful product was Tang, the powdered
orange juice substitute that became a big success when the astronauts drank
it in space. Their next product was Gaines Burgers, a semi-moist dog food
that didnt spoil quickly on the shelf. Using the same technology,
they came up with a fruit-filled pastry that could be stored for months
without refrigeration. On February 16, 1964, Post unveiled their new toaster
pastry to the press, and the food industry went into an uproar.
Post, however, made
two fatal mistakes. They had announced too early , before they fully done
working on the product. This gave their arch-rivals at Kellogg's time
to come up with their own toaster pastry. Furthermore, Post named their
product "Country Squares," at a time when people were laughing
at rural bumpkins on TV and "square" was slang for completely
unhip, uninformed. "Country Squares" didnt sound wholesome
and homegrown as it does in our time; it sounded like moronic and nerdy
like Floyd the Barber, Barney Phyffe and Gomer Pyle from the Andy Griffith
by Still Life with Soup Tureen by P. Cezanne
Kellogg's rushed their
pastry to the market in a scant six months, and its name was a double
pun on the hippest thing happening at the time: Pop Art, which Andy Warhol
had made a household word with his giant soup cans and Brillo boxes. Pop
Tarts took the market by storm, advertised by an animated toaster named
Milton; the company literally could not keep shelves stocked. The first
Pop Tarts came out in four flavors: strawberry, blueberry, brown sugar
cinnamon and apple currant. The first three are still with us.
years, the company developed innovations of its own including no-melt
frosting and sprinkles that wouldnt dislodge in the toaster. Not
that there havent been some missteps along the way: Who still remembers
Danish Go Rounds and Pop Tarts Crunch cereal, not to mention such wish-we-could
forget flavors as Chocolate Peppermint, Frosted Peanut Butter and Jelly,
and Chocolate and Cherry Chip? Still despite all that, heavy competition
from other brands, and the fact that they dont microwave well at
all, Pop Tarts still control about half of the toaster-pastry market.