Kellogg’s rushed Pop-Tarts onto the market in 1964, shortly after their competitor announcement a similar toaster snack release called Country Squares. Since then, the evolution of the Pop-Tart has been long and strange.
Pop-Tarts began simply, with a handful of flavors. Though they come wrapped in tinfoil and ready-to-eat, they’ve always been closely tied to the toaster. Pop-Tart’s first mascot was an animated toaster named Milton.
Though Milton didn’t last, advertising didn’t get any less weird. The following generations saw theatre troops, 3D animation, and corny hip-hop references.
Their associations get stranger, still. In 2001, Pop-Tarts made the news as the U.S. military dropped 2.4 million from planes as relief onto Afghanistan. Around the same time, the brand sponsored tours by The Backstreet Boys and American Idol stars, even attaching its name to a professional Bass fisher. Meanwhile, they’ve endured legal battles, settling out of court in a number unattended toaster fire cases.
In 2010, the Pop-Tarts World store briefly appeared in Time Square. It was home to a 16 foot tall Pop-Tart vending machine and a chef that dished up sushi made of various minced pop-tarts in a gummy fruit wrap.
The brand continues today with nearly 30 flavors. Their longevity is as strange as the product itself. But hey, they do come wrapped in tinfoil.
(repeat broadcast from 5/8/12)