There’s something about Pop-Tarts. For years, consumers have been distancing themselves from artificial and sugary foods, yet the breakfast snack’s popularity has not waned. In fact, the 50-year-old product is thriving, according to the Wall Street Journal.
While Kellogg’s cereal sales shrank 5% in the last quarter, Pop-Tarts netted the company more than $800 million last year. This is despite the fact that nearly a third of U.S. consumers say they want healthier food and Pop-Tarts are roughly 30% sugar.
Pop-Tart’s 2014 Crazy Good Summer concert series. Photo: Facebook/ Pop-Tarts
So who is eating all those toaster pastries? Teenagers mostly, something the Kellogg’s marketing department has wholeheartedly embraced. Three years ago Pop-Tarts launched its heavily branded Crazy Good Summer concert series open to ages 13 and up, booking demographic-specific artists like Demi Lovato, Jasmine V, and Emblem3. It’s been massively successful: The 2012 concerts resulted in 140 million Twitter impressions, almost a quarter million new Facebook fans, and a 5% jump in sales, reports Billboard.
Younger children are the next biggest consumers, reports the WSJ, but what might surprise you is that adults are eating them, too. Their motivations are often practical; a portable, hand-held snack that requires minimal preparation is hugely convenient. However, healthier versions of the product, such as those made by Nature’s Path Foods Inc and Megpies, are not stealing significant market share from Pop-Tarts. The reason? Nostalgia.
“Kellogg started selling Pop-Tarts in 1964,” reports the WSJ. “Like other packaged foods, sales jumped in the 1980s and 1990s as more women headed to work.” Over the decades, Pop-Tarts have tapped into this emotional connection and familiarity with targeted ads, like its Tickle Your Senses ad in 1999 which used psychedelic music and arranged the pastries into flower shapes.
Turns out that in addition to gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, and raw foods, once in a while we all just want a little taste of home.
[via Wall Street Journal]