and the kellogg’s breakfast machine marches on

Am I the only one who thinks 28 flavors of Pop-Tarts is a bit excessive?

I’m only talking about the ones that are available; keep in mind that there are also ten limited edition flavors, five unfrosted, Pop-Tarts Splitz and the Printed Fun line (which are just creepy)—oh, and about a bajillion discontinued flavors like Pina Colada and Spaghetti-O Surprise.


It’s a goddamn breakfast pastry!  Who needs that kind of variety?

OK, so maybe some people do. 

But are they really buying name brands anyway?  I don’t have any kids and it’s a big day if I buy something that doesn’t look like it came off the Repo Man set.  Of course, these people have TV shows.  Maybe I need a TV show. 

No, that wouldn’t work.  I don’t like people looking at me.

Pop-Tarts aren’t even the real deal; keep that in mind the next time you go to buy some.  They’re the ripoff, not the Toast ‘Em Pop Ups, not the Yogi Bear Tastee Tarts, the Crackin’ Good Toaster Pastries or the Little Debbie Toaster Singles (nice cupcake, Little Debbie). 

OK, so those are rip-offs too, but Pop-Tarts started it all.  Well, sort of.

Back in the day, generally assumed to be a Wednesday, but in this case a Sunday, Post announced that the process of sealing food inside of foil wrappers that they’d perfected on dog food, had been adapted to breakfast. 

Post-brand breakfast had previously been Grape-Nuts, so everyone pretty much quit their jobs, set their houses on fire, slept with their wife’s sister and generally partied like it was the end of the world (which in the 1960s they thought it was every other week anyway) since they were so balls-deep excited, since Grape-Nuts are friggin awful. 

You ever eat a bowl of Grape-Nuts?  It felt wrong, didn’t it?  It’s neither grapes, nor nuts, and a bowl of it lasts forever.  I’ve never been able to finish a bowl, never, and I’ve tried.  I’m not the kind of person who gives up easily against a bowl of cereal. 

I think to combat world hunger we need to air-drop a couple boxes into every third world country around the globe and wait.  Either all those starving people will kill themselves because Grape-Nuts are all we gave them to eat, or the whole hunger thing will be over since Grape-Nuts last fucking forever.

Moving on—

Foil sealed food.

Thus was born Post Country Squares.  Sort of.  They weren’t quite ready to release their breakfast pastries when they announced them on February 16, 1964, and that’s what gave Kellogg’s the chance to swoop in and steal the entire thing.

Within six months Pop-Tarts were on the shelves and the guys at Post were just beginning to realize how seriously boned they were.

Kellogg’s had the edge because they were already sponsoring every kid’s show on the air, from Yogi Bear to Scooby Doo and Secret Squirrel.  If it was a cartoon in the 60s, chances are Kellogg’s was bankrolling it in some fashion. 

Within a few years the breakfast pastry industry was raking in $45 million, and Pop-Tarts dominated it.  No other brand could survive more than a few years, and despite the guys at Post swearing their Country Squares were the superior product, even they couldn’t compete.

Post had also renamed their product once they saw how Kellogg’s advertising bitch slapped kids.  Country Squares wasn’t a cool enough name.  They needed something hip or fly or whatever.  Remember the ripoff Toast ‘Em Pop Ups  I mentioned earlier?  Until the 70s when they sold them off, those were made by Post, and were the original Pop-Tarts—the Country Squares that started it all.

My point here is that Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts were the Armageddon to Post’s Deep Impact, The Prestige to their Illusionist, the—I’m out of ideas, add to the list for me.

Furthermore, since September 1964, Kellogg’s has gone unchecked and virtually unopposed in the world of breakfast pastries and this market dominance has gone to their head. 

Gingerbread?  Watermelon?  Rainbow Cookie?  Salt Water Taffy?  French Toast?  Peanut Butter & Jelly?

You’re just doing it because you can.  You don’t even care anymore.  You’re rubberstamping any flavor some intern comes up with now.  It’s just a guy shrugging and saying, “meh,” every time your R&D department needs approval. 

competitors.. competitors.. nope, all clear..

You don’t have any real competitors.  The idea that Pop-Tarts has competitors is comparable to Country Time Lemonade serving cease and desist orders to every six year old with a lemonade stand.

See, they wouldn’t—is my point.  Little girls selling lemonade aren’t a threat to them, much like how anything in the world is no match for Pop-Tarts. 

Much like the honey badger, Pop-Tarts just don’t give a fuck.  They can do whatever they want.

Bottomline—you only need three flavors: Strawberry, Brown Sugar/Cinnamon, and S’mores.  Covers all the bases.  You have your fruit, you have your kind of sweet but kind of boring, you have your dessert.  What more do you need?  Do you really need Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Hot Fudge Sundae?  In a Pop-Tart?

Unnecessary.  Overcomplicated.  And in the case of Rainbow Cookie Sandwich, just plain stupid.

But its gone too far now to stop.  The Pop-Tart machine has become too powerful, it’s expanded and grown unchecked and without opposition for so long it may no longer be possible to temper its advance across the globe.

It’s like the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918.  Or AIDs.  Or Japanese anime.  There’s no stopping it now that it’s rolling.

Pop-Tarts have spread around the world; they’re available in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.  They had only recently attempted to break into the Australian market at the time of  Steve Irwin’s death when their Strawberry Stingray Pop-Tart was discontinued amid complaints and cries of, “Too soon, too soon!”

Since Strawberry Stingray was the first and at that time, only flavor available in the Australian market, and not one likely to be popular anywhere else since Australians are pretty bat shit crazy with what they eat, Kellogg’s made the decision to pull out completely. 

As a result, Kellogg’s  stock plummeted as they were forced to eliminate nearly 1,500 jobs responsible for the development, testing and marketing of future Australian flavors such as Blueberry Balmian Bug, Wacky Wallaby Pineapple, Bogong Moth Milkshake Surprise, and a line of Witchetty Grub Go Tarts that were to feature different flavored frostings.

The loss of their Australian market has been the only true set back for Pop-Tarts, with the exception of the dumb shit that sued because his Pop-Tart broke and caught fire in his toaster. 

Apparently he’d also super-glued the plug into the electrical outlet, other wise I’m sure he could have just unplugged the fucking toaster.  No, unplugging it isn’t an option.  Clearly Kellogg’s just produces highly flammable foodstuffs with the intention of setting their customers’ homes on fire.

Setbacks.. setbacks.. setbacks.. right—no, haven’t really had any as they’ve spent the last almost forty years taking over the world.  But we must beware their popularity, their unchecked dominance of the breakfast-to-go market. 

Their ridiculous flavors could be just the start.  Who knows what will be next? 

About mattS

Couch potato, burrito aficionado, whiskey sour drinker, handyman, writer of interesting things.

Posted on September 21, 2011, in Food, Rant and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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