April 18, 2024


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Bill Post, inventor of the Pop-Tart, dies at age 96

Bill Post, who helped invent Pop-Tarts and led the baking company team that developed a toaster-friendly breakfast food with a fruity filling, fluffy pastry crust and indescribable space-age sweetness, died on February 10 at the age of 96.

His family announced his death in Obituary Through MKD Funeral Homes in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but did not say where or how he died.

More than six decades after Pop-Tarts were developed by Mr. Post's baking team in Grand Rapids, the foil-wrapped snacks remain as common in some kitchens and cafeterias as traditional breakfast foods like oatmeal and eggs.

Sugar pastries achieved sales of about $978 million in 2022. According to CNBC, and became a goofy slogan for college football last season when the Pop-Tarts Bowl culminated in the “death” of its mascot, an anthropomorphic Pop-Tart named Strawberry who was relegated to a giant toaster, before the advent of oversized Pop-Tarts. Through a hole at the bottom and eaten by the winning team.

Post told CNBC last December that the pastry's popularity “exceeded any of our expectations.” Mr. Post, one of seven children of Dutch immigrant parents, was quietly modest about his role in developing Pop-Tart, which began with a 1963 call from cereal giant Kellogg's, asking for help with a breakfast pastry it wanted to market but never did. I don't know how to make.

“I was just the guy who said we'd do it.” Tell New York times.

But as plant manager of the Hekman Baking Company (later known as Keebler) in Grand Rapids, Mr. Post was also the one who steered the project through the technical challenges of a frantic four-month scramble to bring the pastries to market. He said he realized he had a successful product when his children kept asking to try more samples of the “fruit cakes,” as the pastries were originally called.

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“Most of the time, they didn't like what I brought home, but these fruitcakes — they said, 'Dad, bring some of these home.' Tell West Michigan CBS affiliate WWMT in 2021.

The product is called Pop-Tarts, according to A.J Company historyIn reference to the Pop Art movement. And although Andy Warhol may never have painted a Pop-Tart wrapped in aluminum foil, the snacks seemed to fly off the shelves as quickly as cans of Campbell's Soup. After having an initial trial run in Cleveland in 1963, it began selling citywide the following year and then nationwide in 1965 in four original flavors: strawberry, raspberry, brown sugar, cinnamon, and applecurrant.

The signature pastry frosting came a few years later. Mr. Post said he came up with the idea himself, running Pop-Tarts through a cookie decorating machine and showing the results to Kellogg CEO William E. LaMothe. Put through a toaster, and the frosting did not melt. Within an hour, the Associated Press later reported, Lamothe instructed Mr. Post to ice all the Pop-Tarts.

“We doubled the market with that single decision made in one day,” said Mr. Post, who rose to become a senior vice president at Kepler and spent two decades as a consultant to Kellogg. His car was emblazoned with a “POPTART” license plate, and he said he always kept a box of Pop-Tarts on hand. His favorite flavour: strawberry.

“We have a group of elderly people at church, and you have to bring your own lunch every now and then,” Mr. Post told WWMT. “I always bring my pop tarts and of course they all think, 'Poor guy, that's all he can eat.' But I like to eat them.” “As a snack.”

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The full obituary will be posted soon.