Arts

What to Know About ‘Unfrosted’ and the Real History of Pop-Tarts

First, there was the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos biopic (complete with an Oscar-nominated song). Then came “Tetris”; “Air,” about Nike Air Jordan sneakers; “BlackBerry”; and “Barbie.”

It is, in other words, a golden age for product-origin-story movies.

The latest is “Unfrosted: The Pop-Tarts Story,” a satirical history that Jerry Seinfeld has expanded from his stand-up act. The film, which he directed and stars in alongside Jim Gaffigan, Hugh Grant and Amy Schumer, arrives Friday on Netflix. Unlike its predecessors, it’s not really concerned with actual events. Here’s what to know about the true history of the Pop-Tart — and what the movie gets right and wrong.

But first, how did Kellogg’s and Post both end up with headquarters in Battle Creek, Mich.?

You would think ground zero in the Breakfast Wars of the 1960s might be somewhere most people could locate on a map. But Battle Creek, Mich., was home to the Battle Creek Sanitarium, known for its water and fresh air treatments, and managed by Will Keith Kellogg and his brother, John Harvey Kellogg. W.K. Kellogg developed a method of creating crunchy pieces of processed grain for his patients (read: Corn Flakes), and one of those patients, C.W. Post, would go on to start his own company in 1895 selling several foods that were veeeery similar to those at the sanitarium.

W.K. Kellogg noticed Post profiting from his recipes and established his own firm in 1906, the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company. Within three years, it was cranking out more than 100,000 boxes of Corn Flakes a day, and, thanks to the success of Kellogg, Post and many other cereal companies, Battle Creek became known as the Cereal City.

Who were the real Edsel Kellogg III and Marjorie Merriweather Post?

Melissa McCarthy, Seinfeld and Jim Gaffigan in “Unfrosted.”Credit…Columbus 81 Productions

The bumbling chief executive of Kellogg’s, played by Gaffigan, is fictional (thank goodness). On the other hand, Marjorie Merriweather Post — the General Foods owner whom Schumer portrays as a turban-wearing caricature — was one of the first female chief executives and, for most of her life, considered the wealthiest woman in America. (Today she may be best known for building Mar-a-Lago, now Donald J. Trump’s base.)

Related Articles

Back to top button