Pop-Tarts Chill ‘Idol’ Crowd
By Jennifer Zegler
This summer, America’s favorite breakfast pastry – and sponsor of the “American Idols Live” tour — brought its new freezer campaign to arenas packed with eager reality TV fans.
Just for the record, Pop-Tarts are cool. So cool that the brand sponsored this year’s “American Idols Live” tour. In fact, Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg’s is encouraging consumers to eat its newest flavor, Mint Chocolate Chip, out of the freezer, instead of the typical toaster. Not only did the tour give concertgoers an in-person look at their favorite Idols from this past season of the Fox reality TV show, but also a taste of Pop-Tarts’ new “Freeze ‘Em and Eat ‘Em” campaign.
People dressed as Pop-Tarts permeated the all-ages crowd and free frozen samples were handed out at the recent Chicago stop of the tour. Tickets prominently displayed the name of the sponsor, and Pop-Tart representatives filled the nooks and crannies of the arena with various activities, as well as fully-stocked, specially designed Pop-Tart freezers. Before the Idols took the stage, concertgoers, mainly young kids, could dance to cool songs atop the multi-colored, lighted dance floor at the entrance of the arena.
Inside, in the minutes before the crowd erupted into adoring screams for their favorite American Idols — including heartthrob Ace Young (admittedly, the reason I was there), diva runner-up Katharine McPhee and gray-coiffed winner Taylor Hicks — roaming Pop-Tarts permeated the crowd to get the audience pumped up. Two life-size toaster (er, freezer?) pastries ran around the ground level surprising fans and eliciting screams.
At the same time, the sound system reminded the audience about Pop-Tarts’ new Mint Chocolate Chip flavor and recommended that they “Freeze ‘Em and Eat ‘Em.” Including the newest addition, Pop-Tarts offers seven dessert-inspired flavors it recommends freezing.
Oddly enough, this campaign isn’t the first time I’ve heard of freezing Pop-Tarts. My brother, a college student, recommended the unusual method for the chocolate-y varieties to me a few months ago. Not necessarily trusting his culinary preferences, I brushed it off as a dorm fad.
Apparently, I was wrong.
After the Idols departed the stage, fresh-from-the-freezer samples of Mint Chocolate Chip Pop-Tarts were handed out to the crowd. Everyone from grandparents to little girls holding handmade, multicolored signs noshed on the samples on their way out of the arena.
Seeking solace from my lack of a marriage proposal from “Idol’s” Ace Young — and out of curiosity over my brother’s recommendation — I decided to try the freezer pastry. Overall, it’s chewier, and I can see how it works for the chocolate-y varieties, such as Mint Chocolate Chip, but I can’t see myself popping my favorite Brown Sugar Cinnamon in the freezer. Yet, it does open up Pop-Tarts to a new arena: dessert. Ideally, for Kellogg, Pop-Tarts could be both breakfast and dessert fare.
And, apparently, this is already the case on college campuses … at least according to my brother.
Cargill Takes Baking To New Horizon
For 140 years, Cargill, Inc. has been a trusted supplier of core ingredients and supply chain solutions for the food industry, including the bakery segment. According to company literature, “From ideation to launch, Cargill has the knowledge, capabilities and ingredients you need to create winning bakery products that delight customers.”
For example, Cargill recognizes that nutritious, great-tasting kids’ products are a key opportunity in the bakery industry. As a growing number of children become overweight, demand is high for products that are rich in whole grains and high in fiber.
In addition, Cargill notes the needs of Baby Boomers who are driven by health and wellness, yet continue to demand indulgent baked goods. These consumers also have the disposable income to purchase premium baked goods.
Cargill uses different tools and processes to research and gauge consumer interest in new bakery products, whether they’re targeting children or adults. The company’s ingredient expertise covers everything from flours, sweeteners, chocolate, salt and oils to texturizers and emulsifiers, fibers, health-promoting ingredients, ingredient systems and flavors. Its innovative ingredients include cholesterol-reducing plant sterols, fiber pre-blends, whole grain and fiber ingredients, and zero trans fat compounds.
In addition to its own offerings, Cargill has partnered with CHS Inc. to form Horizon Milling, a joint venture between the two companies. Horizon Milling’s wheat and flour products offer a wide range of product applications. Products include bakery, Progressive Baker, retail grocery, whole wheat, export, durum and semolina, and specialty flours, as well as GrainWise Wheat Aleurone and WheatSelect White Spring Whole Wheat flour.