Bill Post for H.U.?

Quite a Few Folks Suggested I write an Honorary Unsubscribe for William Post, who “invented” Pop-Tarts; he died February 10 at 96. Besides not really finding Pop-Tarts to be a laudable item in American diets, he didn’t exactly “invent” the toaster pastry. It wasn’t even his idea.

William Post (family photo)

Post, the cereal company that’s presumably not related to William Post, had already announced it was coming out with “Country Squares” toaster pastries, foolishly doing that months before they were ready to ship. Kellogg’s sensed opportunity, and hired Bill Post of Keebler’s to help develop their own version, which they were dubbing “Fruit Scones”.

Only then did Bill Post lead the team to develop a suitable recipe, and beat Post (the cereal company) to market with a toaster pastry and won the category. A Kellogg’s exec renaming them to Pop-Tarts before launch certainly helped that. What Bill Post apparently did do was come up with the idea to frost them, because Americans are so addicted to sugar thanks to companies like Kellogg’s. Now we have epidemic levels of obesity in this country, and our lifespans are going down.

Frosted strawberry: apparently the best seller. (Kellogg’s)

What Post the company did do right was rename Fruit Scones to Toast’em Pop Ups, which is better but nowhere near as catchy as Pop-Tarts. The disappointed company sold the brand to the Schulze and Burch Biscuit Company, which also doesn’t seem to know much about catchy brand names, but they at least make “store brand” toaster pastries, making them the “the largest supplier of private label toaster pastries in the world.”

When Bill Post retired (at 56), he became a “Brand Ambassador” for Pop-Tarts, frequently giving talks to schoolkids to tell them, “If you want to be noticed, always do more than is expected” — and giving the kids free samples of Pop-Tarts since Kellogg’s gave him as many as he wanted.

Interesting? Sure. But not the quiet heroic figure type that I prefer for the H.U. So instead, I went and found you a food executive that we can truly admire. 🙂

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