Today, we are sticking in the same vein of things that are not very old (surprisingly, only about a decade newer than the first colored television show)... Pop-Tarts. What's really interesting about this product is that it all started with dog food... yup, Dog. Food.
According to The Chicago Tribune, Post Co.'s pet-food division developed dog food called Gaines Burgers, a novel concept where the dog food was semi-moist but didn't have to be refrigerated -- a convenience many humans also sought in their breakfast food. Post (Kellogg's number one competitor) took this innovative technology and put it towards "a fruit-filled pastry that could be shipped and stored without having to be refrigerated." Unfortunately for Post, they made the finding public before their product hit shelves, allowing Kellogg to put a product in the proverbial ring.
Post introduced "Country Squares" about the same time Kellogg (the far more popular breakfast product company) released Pop-Tarts. Though originally Pop-Tarts were called "Fruit Scone". The name was later changed to Pop-Tarts, influenced by Andy Warhol’s Pop-Art in the 1960s, and with that, the pastry's popularity took off... Though considering they had sold out within the first two weeks of their product hitting shelves, they were already doing better than expected in the sales department.
When Kellogg's first introduced the toaster pastry in 1964, it was unfrosted and came with four flavors: Apple Currant Jelly, Strawberry, Blueberry and Brown Sugar-Cinnamon. In 1967, the first frosted Pop-Tarts hit the shelves with four flavors, as well: Dutch-Apple, Concord Grape, Raspberry and Brown Sugar-Cinnamon. Today, there are over 30 kinds of Pop-Tarts (and many special edition ones). Oh ya, and Pop-Tarts Cereal... so good while it lasted (which wasn't very long).
Kellogg’s competitors tried to match the Pop-Tarts smash hit, but never could quite get there. It took General Mills eighteen years to introduce the Toaster Strudel. But unlike the Pop-Tart, the Toaster Strudel needs to be frozen before dropping it into the toaster.
Though Kellogg's has had up-and-down quarters, The Wall Street Journals says, Pop-Tarts has seen its earnings increase since 1982 because the pastry appeals to children, teens AND adults -- making it the winner of all things marketing. And I can admit, I'm a sucker for marketing and branding.