Grand Rapids man credited with inventing Pop-Tarts for Kellogg's, dies at 96

William "Bill" Post. Photo credit: MKD Funeral Home.

A Grand Rapids man credited with inventing the Pop-Tart for the Michigan-based Kellogg's company, died on Saturday according to his obituary.

William "Bill" Post died at the age of 96, leaving behind two children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was raised in Grand Rapids' south side as one of seven children born to Dutch Immigrants. At 16 he started out washing trucks at the Hekman Biscuit Company one of the regional bakeries that would eventually become Keebler.

After serving time in the Army Air Corps in occupied Japan, he returned to Michigan and worked at Hekman while attending Calvin College. At 21 he worked at Hekman full-time as plant manager and 20 years later at 42, met with executives from Battle Creek company Kellogg's.

Kellogg's reps asked Post if he thought Keebler could create a new product they had in mind.

"It is at this juncture that Bill is often credited for having invented the Pop Tart. Bill would say, '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,'" according to his obituary.

Pop-Tarts were originally called Fruit Scones but the name was changed to Pop-Tarts as a nod to the Pop Art trend of the time. Pop-Tarts was introduced in 1964. The first shipments - which began unfrosted - sold out in two weeks and Kellogg's had a hit on its hands.

The collaboration of Kellogg’s and Keebler continued until Kellogg’s finally purchased Keebler.  In 1967, Bill moved his family to Elmhurst Illinois, to begin working at the corporate offices of the Keebler Company. As a senior vice president, at the age of 56, he left the company and retired to Glen Arbor Michigan.

Post was coaxed out of retirement by Kellogg’s request to be a consultant and worked in that role for the next 20 years. In 2003, he and his wife, Florence, moved back to Grand Rapids.

"Over the years, Bill has been interviewed by newspaper reporters (including the New York Times), TV reporters (History Channel, CBS, etc.), and by radio hosts in this country and abroad," his obituary said. "He was asked to tell the Pop-Tart story to young people in countless classrooms and always enjoyed accommodating those requests, giving his testimony of God’s goodness to 'the son of an immigrant,' and bringing some of his unending supply of Pop-Tarts with him."

Post and his wife Florence (Schut) were married for 72 years before she preceded him in death in 2020.

A Netflix movie, "Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story" with Jerry Seinfeld is set to be released on May 3.


Kellogg brand Pop-Tarts arranged in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, US, on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Kellogg Co. said it will split into three independent companies, sparking a rally in the food conglomerates shares. Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/