William Post, The Creator Of Pop-Tarts, Has Died At 96

Fans of Pop-Tarts mourn as the luminary William "Bill" Post, celebrated as the inventor of the iconic toaster pastry, has died at 96. According to Post's obituary, when asked if he invented Pop-Tarts, Post would assert humbly, "I assembled an amazing team that developed Kellogg's concept of a shelf-stable toaster pastry into a fine product that we could bring to market in the span of just four months."

Post's beginnings were as humble as he was. As one of seven children born to Dutch immigrants on the south side of Grand Rapids, hard work and dedication defined Post's early life. From washing trucks at Hekman Biscuit Company at 16 to serving in the Army Air Corps in occupied Japan and later attending Calvin College, continuous growth and learning marked Post's career path. Ascending from personnel manager to plant manager at Hekman, now known as Keebler Company, Post's career took a significant turn in 1963. Four vice presidents from Kellogg Co. approached Post with  "...piece of pie, shape of a slice of bread, fork marks around the edge, two pieces of dough with some filling in it," as Post stated in a Kellanova video and asked him to "put that in a toaster." Embracing the challenge, Post stated he had to "break every rule" to lead a team to invent the toaster pastry that would become a household name: Pop-Tarts. One year later, Pop-Tarts arrived on the scene with four original flavors: apple currant, blueberry, brown sugar cinnamon, and strawberry. 

William Post's enduring legacy

Thanks to William Post, Pop-Tarts have become a beloved breakfast and snack staple in homes worldwide, a product that withstands the test of time. In 2024, Pop-Tarts will turn 60 and boasts 21 different flavors and counting. According to CNBC, Americans just "can't get enough of Pop-Tarts," with three billion consumed in 2022, earning almost $1 billion for its developer, Kellanova

After the initial success of Pop-Tarts, Post's career continued to flourish. In 1967, Post joined the Keebler corporate offices in Illinois, where he served as a senior vice president until his retirement at age 56. Even after retiring, Post's expertise remained invaluable to Kellogg's; thus, he served as a consultant for two decades. 

Post's personal life was as rich as Kellanova and as sweet as Pop-Tarts. Married to his high school sweetheart, Florence, for 72 years until her passing in 2020, Post was a devoted family man. According to his obituary, he leaves a loving family behind, who remember and cherish him for his professional accomplishments, generous spirit, deep faith, and commitment to community service.