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Pop-Tarts is a brand of flat, rectangular, pre-baked toaster pastries made by Kellogg's. Pop Tarts have a sugary filling sealed inside two layers of rectangular, thin pastry crust. Some varieties are frosted. They can be eaten without being warmed, but some are often warmed inside a toaster or microwave. They are usually sold in pairs inside foil packages, and do not require refrigeration. Pop tarts were invented in 1962
Post Cereals first created the confection that would become Pop Tarts in the 1960s. 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 in 1963 to the press, giving them the name "Country Squares".
Because Post had revealed Country Squares before was ready, Post's biggest competitor, Kellogg, was able to develop its own version in six months.
Kellogg's rushed their new pastry into the market very quickly. Its name came from one of the hottest things at the time— pop art, which Andy Warhol made a household name with his giant soup cans and Brillo boxes. Pop Tarts were advertised with an animated toaster named Milton and were so popular that Kellogg's could not keep the shelves stocked.
Originally not frosted when first introduced, it was later proved that frosting could survive 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. Today, there are a wide variety of Pop Tart flavors, including Chocolate Chip, S'mores, Raspberry, French Toast and Mint Chocolate Chip.
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. In 1994, Texas A&M University professor Joseph Delgado performed an experiment showing that, when left in the toaster too long, strawberry Pop Tarts could produce flames over a foot high. 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 1994, Kellogg's released Pop Tarts Crunch, a cereal featuring miniature Pop Tarts. It was later discontinued.
In 2001, the United States military dropped 2.4 million Pop Tarts in Afghanistan during the United States War in Afghanistan.
In 2002, Pop Tarts introduced Snak-Stix, portable, break-apart bars. They were intended to be an after-school snack and were later discontinued.
In 2004, Pop Tarts began a new ad campaign titled "Crazy Good". 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 the ads and in 2006 was considering possible litigation for the stealing of his work.
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.
In 2010, Pop Tarts introduced Popsters, a limited edition 100-calorie pouch filled with miniature Pop Tarts. Later that year, a new group of flavors were introduced, dubbed Ice Cream Shoppe. Included in the group were three previous flavors and one new one. Ice Cream Shoppe Pop Tarts contain 25% less sugar than normal Pop Tarts.
Pop Tarts come in a variety of flavors. Currently, there are almost 100 of them:
- Banana Split
- Frosted Blueberry
- Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon
- Frosted Cherry
- Chocolate Chip
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Frosted Chocolate Fudge
- Cinnamon Roll
- Frosted Cookies & Cream
- Frosted Raspberry
- Frosted Strawberry
- Frosted Wild! Berry
- Blueberry Muffin
- Frosted Wild! Grape
- French Toast
- Hot Chocolate
- Dulce De Leche (2008)
- Guava Mango (2008)
- Chocolate Banana Split (2009-2010)
- Orange Cream (2008-2009)
- Choc-o-Lantern Frosted Chocolate Fudge (2010-Present)
- Barbie Sparkleberry
- Barbie Islandberry
- Indiana Jones Brown Sugar Cinnamon
- Nascar Brown Sugar Cinnamon
- Printed Fun Gingerbread
- Frosted Grape
- Hot Chocolate
- French Toast
- Wild Tropical Blast
- Frosted Caramel Chocolate
- Frosted Double Berry
- Mint Chocolate Chip
- Disney Princess Jewelberry
- Hello Kitty Meowberry
- Wild Magic Burst
- Apple Cinnamon
- Strawberry Cheese Danish
- Dutch Apple
- Wild Strawberry
- Wild Strawberry with Holiday Sprinkles
- Ice-Berry Blast
- Trivial Pursuit
- Frosted Lava Berry Explosion
- Chocolate Vanilla Creme
- Wild Bubble-Berry
- Robo Berry Blast
- Pirates of The Caribbean Treasure Maps
- Chocolate Banana Split