By Amanda Woods
Move over Hershey’s and M&M’s—the Pop-Tarts are in town. Pop-Tarts World, an interactive shop and café inspired by everyone’s favorite rectangular frosted toaster treats, opened in Times Square on August 10.
The shop, which originated as a response to the Kellogg’s Pop-Tart brand’s fame in the social media world (reaching over 2 million Facebook fans), creatively sets out to answer the question, “What can you do with a Pop-Tart?” The possibilities are endless—the café, located at the front of the store, serves 20 varieties of Pop-Tarts, ranging from strawberry milkshake to hot fudge sundae to apple streudel. It also offers delectable desserts drizzled, stuffed, and coated with Pop-Tart morsels, including brownies, granola bars and ice cream.
Their most popular treat—Pop-Tart sushi—consists of three kinds of Pop-Tarts crushed up and wrapped in Fruit Roll-Ups to resemble sushi rolls. Visitors with a sweet tooth are in luck, because these bite-sized concoctions create an immediate sugar rush. The “sushi” is affordable as well—75 cents each, and $2.29 for four rolls. Another unique option at the café is the “Ants on a Log,” celery smeared with peanut butter and covered in pieces of wild grape Pop-Tarts.
The focal point of the store is the Varietizer, a contraption that allows patrons to create their own Pop-Tarts, combining elements from 23 available types. Here, shoppers can purchase their own customized box containing 12 Pop-Tarts for $12. A computer screen initially presents all possible choices, and once the user finishes mixing and matching flavors, it displays the nutritional facts for that particular selection—a plus for the health-conscious and those with food allergies.
“Create your own” seems to be a theme in this store, and it applies not only to the Pop-Tarts, but to clothing inspired by the snacks as well. The shop includes a station where visitors can design Pop-Tart themed T-shirts—using a combination of any three designs—for $25.
The store also sells a variety of Pop-Tarts products including T-shirts (between $20 and $30), sweatshirts ($50), mugs ($14), baseball caps ($20), and lip balm ($5). Some of the apparel, as well as posters and other items around the store, fittingly put a New York City twist on the Pop-Tart brand.
Pop-Tarts World takes interactivity to a digital level, featuring a row of computers along the left side of the store, where shoppers can visit www.PopTartsWorld.com, play a variety of video games inspired by the treats, and even update their Facebook statuses to let friends know they’re at Pop-Tarts World.
With its royal blue walls and electric blue fluorescent lighting, the store has a club-like ambience, but the brightly colored décor, including three paintings of Pop-Tarts designed by American pop artist Burton Morris, foster a welcoming, child-friendly environment.
In an effort to entertain visitors, the shop puts on a light show every hour, in which various colors and strengths of lights create a sensation of getting “frosted,” covered with sprinkles, and wrapped up in foil like a Pop-Tart.
Pop-Tarts World is certain to become another tourist attraction in the already buzzing Times Square, but it’s also a fun environment for locals to bring their children to enjoy a sugary snack or two, design custom T-shirts, and play computer games.
Only weeks ago, the only choices people could make involving Pop-Tarts were whether to heat them in the microwave or grab them and go. In this new store, the options are numerous, the prices are reasonable, and the choices are yours—making Pop-Tarts World a must-visit for all who adore these tasty treats.
128 West 42nd Street
New York, N.Y, 10036