Comparison of Frosted Strawberry Pop-tarts & Market Pantry (Target) Brand

Saving money is my main goal these days, and I can save a lot of money by shopping smart when I buy my groceries. It pays to be a discriminating buyer these days, and store brands help me save a bundle.

The six school aged children in my childcare absolutely love Pop-tarts, and ask for them when they come home from school and are served a snack. Kellogg’s Pop-tarts can be on the expensive side, so I started to experiment with the Target brand Market Pantry, and you know what? They couldn’t tell the difference! The Market Pantry brand is quite a bit cheaper than the Kellogg’s brand, so why not save some money?

In looking at Kellogg’s Frosted Strawberry Pop-tarts and Market Pantry Frosted Strawberry Toaster Pastries, they look almost identical to me. They come in eight count boxes which contain four pouches, each containing two pastries. Both have multi-colored sprinkles layered onto the frosting on the outside of the pastry.

Kellogg’s boasts that theirs are “Baked with real fruit”, but the Market Pantry version makes no such claims. Looking at the ingredients to see if either of these contain real strawberries is an eye opener! The picture on the Kellogg’s box looks like the pastries are bursting with a red colored filling.

Kellogg’s ingredients (up to the fruit filling) read: Enriched flour, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose soybean and palm oil, sugar, contains 2% or less of cracker meal, wheat starch, salt, dried strawberries.

In comparison, the Market Pantry ingredients read: Enriched wheat flour, corn syrup, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, palm and/or partially hydrogenated soybean oil, fruit from fruit concentrate (white grape, strawberry).

The fruit in the Frosted Kellogg’s Pop-tarts is listed as the 9th ingredient, while fruit in the Frosted Market Pantry Toaster Pastries is the 6th ingredient, leaving me to conclude that the Market Pantry version sold at Target actually contains more fruit, although not all of it is actually strawberries.

Both of these products are prepared the same way, they can be eaten cold or heated up in a toaster on the low setting. They can also be warmed in your microwave, but be careful because the filling does get quite hot if you heat or toast them too long.

Nutritionally both brands are also very much the same. For just one pastry, both list 200 calories and 5 grams of fat. Fiber content, sugars, protein, and cholesterol are the same. Only slight variations with sodium and carbohydrates. The vitamin and mineral contents read almost identical as well.

How do these two products compare in the taste test? I don’t eat these very often because I view them as an unhealthy food. One does not fill me up for breakfast, and if I eat two I am taking in 400 calories and 10 grams of fat! However, my daycare children are given these by their parents to take to school, and I know they burn the calories off much quicker than I, so I do give them as the occasional after school snack because they request them. Actually they like the chocolate flavored Poptarts the best, but I have not been able to find these in the Market Pantry line just yet, so their next favorite flavor is strawberry.

Some of my daycare children are very fussy eaters, and I think they are the perfect choice to do a taste test on, and honestly they cannot tell the difference, they think I am serving them Pop-tarts. I really can’t taste the difference either. The frosting does taste good on the tongue, but they are on the dry side for my tastes. Since these seem to be (at least to me) a food targeted for children, I will continue to save money and purchase the Market Pantry brand which is sold in Target stores.