Times Square is quickly evolving into a sugar-crazed universe! Following the likes of M&M World and Hershey, Pop-Tarts opened their Pop-Tarts World today in Times Square. Though I always thought Pop-Tarts were an inferior breakfast pastry to Toaster Strudel, they were always more functional because you could eat them without a toaster. The folks at Kellogg want to capitalize on this and have a four-pronged approach for their World: a build-your-own Pop-Tarts box station called The Varietizer, a restaurant called the Pop-Tarts World Cafe, a make-your-own T-shirt station with other merchandise, and an interactive media area (so you can shout out to all your tweeps and check into Foursquare).
The company behind the store’s design, the Giguanda Group, say that they are more focused on creating a Pop-Tarts experience than immediately increasing sales. And experience you will get! Have you ever had Pop-Tarts sushi? Me either. Apparently it consists of three flavors of Pop-Tarts minced up and wrapped in fruit roll-up. The taste testers said good things, but I’m skeptical of combining too many artificially colored and sweetened foods into one dish! (BYO soy sauce and ginger!) If that seems too experimental, the build-your-own Pop-Tarts box seems legit, though overpriced at $12. The Varietizer is a custom built space-craft vending machine that lets you create your own variety pack out of 23 of the Pop-Tart flavors and watch as various robotic arms pull selections from the Pop-Tarts stockpile and assemble your creation.
So what about that fight against American obesity? There’s nothing like a 380-calorie Hot Fudge Sundae Pop-Tart with over 50 ingredients and artificial colorings to bring health to the scene. I guess in this wave of Food Worlds hitting Times Square the healthy options don’t exactly have the same draw. A Fage Yogurt build-your-own parfait station or a Naked Juice create-your-own juice puree wouldn’t attract the overpaying sugar-high bound tourist crowds. Perhaps we could save those for Union Square? Though the recent addition of T.G.I. Fridays to Union Square may indicate it is headed down the same processed food path! Oy vey!