Instead of New Pop-Tart Flavors, How About Pop-Tarts 2.0?

Pop tarts Wildlicious fruit  Fusion

It’s always interesting to see what commercials will air during “The Biggest Loser”. Last night, Pop Tarts grabbed our attention with their new “Wildlicious” line of toaster pastries:

Buckle up and unwrap a fusion of fruit flavor. Cherry, orange, strawberry, raspberry and blueberry-flavored fruit filling. Bright yellow frosting, orange icing drizzle and multi-colored sprinkles on top.

Bright Frosting…Sprinkles…Fusion of Flavors…yummm….

Naturally we decided to investigate.

What you need to know:

A serving is one pop tart. It has 200 calories. For just one pastry, not two, keep in mind. The sugar count is almost 4 teaspoons (15 grams or 30% of the calories). The fiber is very low – less than 1 gram (we need 25 grams per day at least). But that’s not surprising because the main ingredient here is highly refined wheat flour, stripped of all its whole grain nutrients:

Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Soybean and Palm Oil (with TBHQ for Freshness), Dextrose, Contains Two Percent or less of Wheat Starch, Glycerin, Cracker Meal, Salt, Dried Cherries, Dried Apples, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Citric Acid, Corn Cereal, Gelatin, Malic Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Xanthan Gum, Modified Corn Starch, Modified Wheat Starch, Soy Lecithin, Red 40, Color Added, Turmeric Extract for Color, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Vitamin A Palmitate, Niacinamide, Reduced Iron, Yellow 6, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid, Blue 1.

After flour, the second, third, and fourth(!) ingredients are sugars.

Ingredient number 5 is oil, preserved with TBHQ, which is a problem ingredient: TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone) is an antioxidant used to keep oils from going rancid. It is a petroleum derivative. Yummy. The food industry pushed the FDA for years to get it approved as a preservative despite the fact that ingestion of large doses (a thirtieth of an ounce) can cause nausea, delirium, and ringing of the ears.

Additional goodies include trans-fat (that’s from partially hydrogenated soybean oil) and artificial colors galore.

Click on the image to see the full analysis of this product on our brand new website.

Pop Tarts Wildlicious gets a D on Fooducate

Sorry, Kellogg’s. Instead of new Pop Tart flavors using the tried and true recipe for nutrition disaster, how about Pop Tarts 2.0? Something that can maintain the brand you built without slowly killing us? Use whole wheat, ditch the artificial colors, lower the sugar, add substantially more fruit. Come on, your food scientists can figure this out…

What to do at the supermarket:

If you need your toaster pastry fix, try whole grain options with less “evil” ingredients. Amy’s and Trader Joe’s for example. But know that in general these are not the greatest way to start the day.

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  • Brit the Pop Tart

    Eh, Wildlicious doesn’t seem like it would do it for me. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, on the other hand… ;)

  • Brit the Pop Tart

    Eh, Wildlicious doesn’t seem like it would do it for me. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, on the other hand… ;)

  • Julia

    I couldn’t help but picture the pop tart being baked NEXT to fruit when I read “Baked with real fruit”  Like I bake my chicken with my potatoes..

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    I don’t watch much TV at all these days either, but love to see what commercials air during what shows. Always good for a laugh.

  • Mamasuza1958

    More garbage food. Sad that the Biggest Loser would recommend pop tarts when the very essence of the show is to advocate healthy lifestyle. Kellog must have sponsorship there.

    • jnwalsh1

      No, the very essence of the show is to humiliate and endanger the contestants while providing a trainwreck for a captive audience, most of whom I suspect are also overweight and put away a lot of junk food while viewing the unrealistic workouts, staged weight losses and painful injuries.

  • Anonymous

    It perhaps bears mentioning that ingredients are listed in descending order by how much of them is in the item.  So there’s more “enriched wheat flour” than any other single ingredient, corn syrup is the next biggest ingredient, and so on. 

    But you see where it says “Contains Two Percent or less of Wheat Starch”?  Every single ingredient after that, there’s LESS of it even than wheat starch.  So the “Baked with Real Fruit!” Pop-Tarts contain less than 2% dried cherries, less than 2% dried apples, and those are the only items of fruit mentioned.

    Yeah.  The product with the cherry and orange and strawberry and the words “Baked with Real Fruit” and “Fruit Fusion” on the box contains ALMOST NO DAMN FRUIT.

  • Anonymous

    It perhaps bears mentioning that ingredients are listed in descending order by how much of them is in the item.  So there’s more “enriched wheat flour” than any other single ingredient, corn syrup is the next biggest ingredient, and so on. 

    But you see where it says “Contains Two Percent or less of Wheat Starch”?  Every single ingredient after that, there’s LESS of it even than wheat starch.  So the “Baked with Real Fruit!” Pop-Tarts contain less than 2% dried cherries, less than 2% dried apples, and those are the only items of fruit mentioned.

    Yeah.  The product with the cherry and orange and strawberry and the words “Baked with Real Fruit” and “Fruit Fusion” on the box contains ALMOST NO DAMN FRUIT.

  • Anonymous

    It perhaps bears mentioning that ingredients are listed in descending order by how much of them is in the item.  So there’s more “enriched wheat flour” than any other single ingredient, corn syrup is the next biggest ingredient, and so on. 

    But you see where it says “Contains Two Percent or less of Wheat Starch”?  Every single ingredient after that, there’s LESS of it even than wheat starch.  So the “Baked with Real Fruit!” Pop-Tarts contain less than 2% dried cherries, less than 2% dried apples, and those are the only items of fruit mentioned.

    Yeah.  The product with the cherry and orange and strawberry and the words “Baked with Real Fruit” and “Fruit Fusion” on the box contains ALMOST NO DAMN FRUIT.

  • jnwalsh1

    This is almost like a Saturday Night Live-style parody advertisement.  Absolutely horrifying that people eat this utter garbage, feed it to their kids, and think it is somehow fruit-related.

  • Homecookedhealthy

    Sorry, all I can say is “Yuck”.  Just because something is labeled as food doesn’t mean we should eat it.  3 of the 4 top ingredients is a sugar – seriously?  Do we really want to give this to a child and then send them to school to try and sit and concentrate?  If you want fruity taste how about an organic apple, orange, pear – I’ve heart they taste pretty fruity. 

    • Woof

      I don’t know; when I was in middle school my breakfast usually consisted of a pop tart and I would do just fine before and after lunch (which would be a fist-sized bagel – enriched, mind you; with a side of cheese to dip it in and one huge cookie). I never had any trouble with weight or concentration.

  • Jim

    Why not just say tha t they don’t taster very good? Because they are pretty awful.
    And your statements on the dangers of TBHQ are hyperbolic. There is a wide gap between the amount used and an amount that can cause any symptoms.

  • carolc

    I will never forget, and this is maybe 30 years ago (have pop tarts been around that long?) staying overnight with a friend when we both had 3 year olds, it was breakfast, and she was saying “eat your pop tart!!!”  (The kid did not want to eat)  I couldn’t believe it, but what do you say?  I mean, it wasn’t my business, but even back then, I knew these things were bad. Why did my friend buy them?

  • http://gigieatscelebrities.com/ GiGi Eats Celebrities

    Baked with real fruit my PATOOTIE! LOL. These things are ridiculous!!!!!

  • Lisa

    Sometimes I think original Poptarts are the one junky item from my childhood I’d like to try again, just once. Just a taste! But knowing what’s in it, I can’t bring myself to buy it. What would I do with the other bricks in the box after I eat one? Not to mention how much they hurt my teeth, even then.

    These will probably sell. Slap a crazy name and some colours on anything and people will buy it.

  • Peterbellingham

    This is funny and so true….the food industry is a sad sack of…

  • Ashley

    No one with half a brain thinks pop tarts are a healthy breakfast. “POP TARTS ARE UNHEALTHY” isn’t news. What a joke.

  • My own beat..

    surprise, surprise… poptarts are not healthy?

    The surprising thing to me is that many will fall for the misleading statements that are plastered across the box…

    “Baked with real fruit!”… give me a freaking break— throwing some fruit in an already garbage product does NOT make it a healthy choice.

    I refuse to believe that the masses are actually that blind.  I think that some people will find ANY justification (legitimate or not) to continue eating whatever garbage they wish to. The worst part about it is that many of the consumers of this product are children.  Try changing the diet of a child who grew up on garbage– Not fun.

    As much as I am in favor for companies to provide junk food for their buyers— I think its a shame that they jump onto this trend that misleads people.  Be real about what you are selling… but then again, if they were painfully real, they would loose alot of bis… good for us.. bad for them.

  • My own beat..

    surprise, surprise… poptarts are not healthy?

    The surprising thing to me is that many will fall for the misleading statements that are plastered across the box…

    “Baked with real fruit!”… give me a freaking break— throwing some fruit in an already garbage product does NOT make it a healthy choice.

    I refuse to believe that the masses are actually that blind.  I think that some people will find ANY justification (legitimate or not) to continue eating whatever garbage they wish to. The worst part about it is that many of the consumers of this product are children.  Try changing the diet of a child who grew up on garbage– Not fun.

    As much as I am in favor for companies to provide junk food for their buyers— I think its a shame that they jump onto this trend that misleads people.  Be real about what you are selling… but then again, if they were painfully real, they would loose alot of bis… good for us.. bad for them.