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Why We Don't Need a Pop-Tarts Store

By paulabernstein |

Pop-TartsFrom my recent tirades against Go-gurt and Vitaminwater, you probably assume I’m an organic-only, vegan, health food nut. Au contraire. I actually love candy, ice cream, and other sweet treats. But I still can’t stand the idea of a Pop-Tarts Store.

Yes, those packaged breakfast pastries now have a flagship store of their own right in the center of New York’s Time Square.

As The New York Times points out, the idea behind what its promoters are calling “Pop-Tarts World” is to bolster the brand. After all, “as a breakfast food, these pastries have neither the nutritional cachet of cereal nor the tuck-in-a-pocket ease of a breakfast bar. As a snack, they’re not quite sweet like a cookie, nor savory like a cracker.”

In other words, Pop-Tarts needs an image overhaul to appeal to today’s kids.What better way to do that than to create a destination store — much like M&Ms and Hershey’s have done? The idea isn’t so much to sell merchandise (although they sure do that), but rather to market the brand.

A Pop-Tart store doesn’t sound like fun to you? Clearly, you haven’t pondered the possibilities. But Kellogg’s execs sure have. They’ve come up with a number of creative ways to lure visitors, including a cafe which will serve “the Fluffer Butter,” a pseudo-sandwich of two Pop-Tarts frosted fudge pastries with marshmallow spread in the middle (gag!), as well as “Pop-Tarts Sushi.” What’s that? Three kinds of Pop-Tarts minced and then wrapped in a fruit roll-up (double gag!)

Visitors will be able to design their own Pop-Tarts. As if that isn’t enough, the store plans to put on a Pop-Tarts-themed light show hourly. Computer screens in the store will provide customers access to Pop-Tart video games as well as PopTartsWorld.com.

I won’t serve my kids Pop-Tarts so I certainly don’t plan to take them to the store. But the bigger issue is I don’t want to support the broader marketing of sugary foods to kids.

In June, the Federal Trade Commission busted Kellogg’s for making false health claims about cereals such as Rice Krispies and Frosted-Mini Wheats. I’m not sure how Kellogg’s gets away with calling Pop-Tarts a “good source of 6 vitamins & minerals.” Have you looked at the list of ingredients in a Pop-Tart lately? And did you know they now come in flavors such as “Frosted Cookies and Creme” and “Hot Fudge Sundae?” As far as I can tell, they’re not a good source of anything except sugar and lots of artificial ingredients.

Call me cynical, but creating a destination store to market junk food to kids seems like a neat way to circumvent rules that limit advertising junk food to kids.

I’m not saying I have never let my kids eat junk food, but I certainly don’t want to send them the message that junk food is fun and worthy of a family afternoon outing. Do you plan to visit “Pop-Tarts World?”

Photo: wikimedia/Scott Ehardt

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About paulabernstein

paulabernstein

paulabernstein

Paula Bernstein is a freelance writer and social media manager with a background in entertainment journalism. She is also the co-author of Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited.

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19 thoughts on “Why We Don't Need a Pop-Tarts Store

  1. [...] Why We Don't Need a Pop-Tarts StoreBabble (blog)Computer screens in the store will provide customers access to Pop-Tart video games as well as PopTartsWorld.com. I won't serve my kids Pop-Tarts so I …A Times Square Aura for Pop-TartsNew York TimesPOP-TARTS WORLD™ Opens in New York City with Announcement of $25000 FUNd …PR Newswire (press release)Video: Pop Tarts Hit Time Square, Berkshire Profits DownMinyanville.comGeekosystem -The Consumerist (blog)all 376 news articles » [...]

  2. Amanda says:

    I would never take my child to this store, but considering my recent insatiable pregnancy craving for pop-tarts, I might just have to check it out undercover on my own. lol

  3. C1ndygirl says:

    I teach my kids about a well balanced diet that can include sweet treats as a treat and not a daily habit. Moderation is the key. How dull would our world be if all we had were bran flakes and nay sayers! Instead lets thank PopTarts World for renting space, paying taxes and contributing an upswing in a down economy.

  4. paulabernstein says:

    C1ndygirl, did you read the post? I’m all for everthing in moderation. My kids don’t only eat “health food,” but this is a case of trying to make pop tarts a fun destination, not just a “sometimes” food. It’s the sneaking marketing that bothers me. I’m certainly not calling for a Pop Tart ban anytime soon!

  5. raquel says:

    damn, you’re boring. what’s wrong with pop tart destination? is it any different from a candy store destination or an ice cream destination or a cupcake destination?! geez louise, get a damn life. there’s more shit in the world to be pissed abt than this.

  6. Sara says:

    I’ve got no problem with them as a dessert or treat. However, as a breakfast they’re absurd.

  7. [...] as you'll see from this video, you are a Pop-Tart. The store's hourly light show …Why We Don't Need a Pop-Tarts StoreBabble (blog)A Times Square Aura for Pop-TartsNew York TimesVideo: Pop Tarts Hit Time Square, [...]

  8. [...] Why We Don't Need a Pop-Tarts StoreBabble (blog)Computer screens in the store will provide customers access to Pop-Tart video games as well as PopTartsWorld.com. I won't serve my kids Pop-Tarts so I …A Times Square Aura for Pop-TartsNew York TimesPOP-TARTS WORLD™ Opens in New York City with Announcement of $25000 FUNd …PR Newswire (press release)Video: Pop Tarts Hit Time Square, Berkshire Profits DownMinyanville.comGeekosystem -The Consumerist (blog)all 377 news articles » [...]

  9. TC says:

    Don’t mess with my Pop Tarts (kidding, sort of). I have no problems feeding my kids Pop Tarts and fresh fruit for breakfast if 1.) they’ll eat it and 2.) they’ll eat it. And, when I was pregnant, the chocolate frosted ones were heavenly!

  10. jenny tries too hard says:

    Honestly, I think a pop-tart destination store does push them into the Hershey’s/M&M/sometimes food category, which is good. The only thing wrong with pop-tarts is pretending that they’re an everyday breakfast as opposed to a dessert or a birthday/special occasion breakfast thing like donuts or chocolate chip pancakes. And the first group that should stop pretending is the USDA that approved Pop Tarts for the school nutrition program.

  11. Kate says:

    Absolutely ridiculous. What is wrong with you people who think that Pop-tarts are okay for kids to eat EVER? They are full of sugar and crap. And you know, if you’re okay with pop-tarts, you’re probably okay with lots of other junk foods too. If they eat each “sometimes” they’re probably having at least one per day, right? So that’s hardly moderation!

    And if your goal is to “get them to eat” well…I don’t even know what to tell you. Feed your kids healthy breakfast (fruit, eggs, sausage, etc.) and tell them that’s what there is. They might whine and complain at first but they’ll get used to it. I am the parent and I choose what my children eat, not the other way around! I’d rather they starve (although they won’t) than eat a steady diet of junk!

    And by the way, my “picky” 2 year old has no problem eating yogurt, cheese, eggs, sausage, etc. for breakfast and NOT getting any candy the vast majority of the time. Because that’s what her choices are.

  12. jenny tries too hard says:

    calm down, kate…there’s nothing wrong with those of us who think it’s okay to have a poptart once in a while, unless you also think cake, candy and cookies are never okay. To clarify my stance on “sometimes” foods—a sometimes food gets eaten on an S-day, a Saturday, Sunday, or “special” day like Halloween or Valentine’s Day or a birthday. Five times a year in my house, the birthday kid(s) get to choose something like pop-tarts, donuts, or Spongebob cereal. Having a whole store dedicated to pop tarts makes it seem like something on the same level as a Hershey bar or ice cream—a treat so special it has its own theme park.

  13. [...] Time Square, Berkshire Profits DownMinyanville.comA Times Square Aura for Pop-TartsNew York TimesWhy We Don't Need a Pop-Tarts StoreBabble (blog)PR Newswire (press release) -The Consumerist (blog) -Geekosystemall 383 news [...]

  14. Gretchen Powers says:

    I am quite happy to say I have never eaten a Pop Tart, and probably never will. I prefer wholesome, homemade treats to those full of weird chemicals. But, that’s just me…I don’t like these lame “corporate destinations”, personally, either, and I prefer non-chain ice cream shops and bakeries, as well. Something different.

  15. Manjari says:

    I’m no fan of pop-tarts (though I liked them when I was a child), and I would never feed them to my children. That said, Kate, sausage? Really? I don’t see how that’s healthy either.

    And the whole idea of the “Fluffer Butter” makes me want to throw up a little.

  16. Gretchen Powers says:

    I guess everyone has their standards…I could see how lean meat sausage links at breakfast would be OK…and I am a vegetarian! What I don’t like is the manufactured idea of “fun”. Those silly recipes would be cool if people did them at home as some silly, fun kitschy thing, and, yes, for a treat…but to go somewhere and have them serve that to you, just seems kind of low. What happened to art museums, Central Park, or even FAO Schwarz and Grimaldis or that coal pizza place near Soho—Lombardis—as NY “destinations” for fun family things? Even the latter two are food things, but they’re not branded to death and they do have some history. Pop Tarts are just more corporate garbage.

  17. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Wow, somebody is off their meds… if you’re okay with Pop-Tarts, you’re probably okay with TERRORISM.

  18. [...] Time Square, Berkshire Profits DownMinyanville.comA Times Square Aura for Pop-TartsNew York TimesWhy We Don't Need a Pop-Tarts StoreBabble (blog)The Consumerist (blog) -PR Newswire (press release) -Geekosystemall 391 news [...]

  19. angryguy says:

    Eggs and sausage? The heart association diet? I don’t see anything wrong with pop-tarts occasionally, or their attempt to raise revenue in this economy. If I had a pop-tart world nearby, it would definitely be a rainy Saturday excursion. So they market their product to kids, I get that, but kids don’t buy the groceries. If you think pop-tarts are that bad then don’t give them to your kids, but don’t tell me I’m some horrible parent for letting my kid have one once in a while. If you don’t like pop-tart world, don’t go, don’t tell me I’m wrong if I want to go. If you disagree with something, cool, that’s your right as an American, that doesn’t mean you get to tell anyone they shouldn’t eat this or go there or demean them as a person or parent because they happen to think differently than you do. I’ll give my kid a pop-tart whenever the hell I feel like it and anyone who thinks that is so bad can just keep their comment up there in the saddle bags of their high horse. Got over yourselves.

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