Created in the 1960′s, cleverly named after Pop Art, many can argue that Pop Tarts are America’s favorite junk food. The history of the Pop Tart is a fascinating one. But oddly enough, last year, Kelloggs annual sales of Pop Tarts and $481 Million showed that competition is fierce. How much is spent in advertising for junk food? In 2004, over $11 Billion was spent compared to just under $10 Billion spent on ads about healthy eating habits. Junk food consumption in the U.S. makes up about 25% of the American diet. While more money is spent on M&Ms ($753 million) and Hershey’s candy ($1.07 Billion), the iconic Pop Tart still earns a warm place in our hearts and toaster.

NEW YORK - AUGUST 10: A general view of atmosphere at the grand opening Pop-Tarts World in Times Square on August 10, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Pop-Tarts)

Kellogg’sĀ® Pop TartsĀ® come in a wide variety of flavors. In addition to ‘traditional’ ones like strawberry and blueberry, Kellogg’s also produces limited seasonal varieties such as Frosted Pumpkin Pie. The newest flavor to reach store shelves is Ice Cream Sandwich. If it is as good as their Hot Fudge Sundae version, it is sure to be a success.

But with America become more weight conscious, particularly with childhood obesity, will junk foods like Pop Tarts survive? Already, Kellogg’s has begun marketing Pop Tart ‘Popsters’, packets of smaller versions of Pop Tarts with each packet containing only 100 calories worth of the sweet treat. Many flavors, such as the new Ice Cream Sandwich, are made with 25% less sugar than other Pop Tarts.

My personal favorite Pop Tart is Frosted Strawberry. Though, I will admit, there are few flavors of Pop Tart that I would turn down if offered. So is Kellogg’s Pop Tart America’s favorite junk food? Many will argue the point, choosing various types of candy, chips or other food items like pizza. One thing is certain that as long as there are children, there will be Pop Tarts. Even if some of us ‘children’ are in our 50s. Frankly, I think Kellogg’s is missing a major market in not producing an up-scale, gourmet Pop Tart geared for adults to exchange is gifts for holiday and romantic events. Who would choose a dozen roses over a stylish basket of Pop Tarts? Certainly not I!

NEW YORK - AUGUST 10: A general view of atmosphere at the grand opening Pop-Tarts World in Times Square on August 10, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Pop-Tarts)

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