Sunday, August 13, 2017

For A Limited Time, A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts Were Oddly Fun!

The Good: Good flavor, Affordable, Easy to prepare
The Bad: Packaging/environmental impact, Not terribly nutritious.
The Basics: The A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are a lot of fun, even if they are best when heated . . . which can be unsettling for those who love root beer!

Every now and then when I see a new product hit the shelves of my local grocery store, I just say to myself "I'm going to wait this one out." I live in a comparatively small community and as a result, new products are often slow to catch on. The net result is, many new products hit the shelves and hit the clearance rack there disproportionately fast. The Kellogg's A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts were a product that, when I first saw them in our store, I said "I give it three months." Well, last week, it was three months and boom! . . . there they were on the clearance rack at 40% off. And I was still eager to try them!

The A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are a Pop Tart that are somewhat undermined by their own concept. These are a Pop Tart that taste best warmed . . . which is pretty much the opposite of its intended flavor, root beer (which is generally better cold). Despite that weird contrast, the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts end up being pretty good.


Kellogg’s Pop Tarts are toaster pastries, which are basically semi-hard flat bread pouches filled with a flavored filling. The filling has the consistency of peanut butter and some, like the Limited Edition A&W Root Beer flavor, come with frosting on them. The frosting is hard and on the A&W Root Beer flavored Pop Tarts has a lighter frosting swirl that is akin to the foam atop one's mug of root beer.

A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts come in a box of eight with the Pop Tarts paired up in thin foil pouches. The foil pouch helps to protect the Pop Tart and keep it fresh.

Ease Of Preparation

Pop Tarts are one of the easiest foods in the world to prepare. Simply tear open the foil pouch and pull a Pop Tart out to eat it. It is truly that simple. Of course, you should dispose of the foil wrapper in an environmentally appropriate manner. Outside that, preparation is unnecessary as Pop Tarts taste great at room temperature, though these Pop Tarts definitely have more flavor when heated.

But, for those who like them hot – which makes the filling more like a warm pie – A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts may be heated in a toaster, toaster oven or microwave. I actually like heating the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts in the microwave for thirty seconds because it makes the corners softer and makes the pastry a little less dry.


A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts smell surprisingly neutral. Their coating has a more generic chocolate scent to it than the scent of root beer, which surprised me. Regardless, these are a Pop Tarts flavor that is only truly aromatic when it is warmed.

At room temperature, the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts taste like a sweet pie crust. The bready portion of the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts is sweet, only slightly dry in its flavor, but not distinct or clearly root beer flavor. The root beer flavor comes out only through the filling. The filling is a very true root beer flavor - dry, earthy, sweet and with an odd element to its flavor that actually insinuates fizz! Plain and unheated, the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts taste like a bready version of what they are supposed to; root beer.

Served warm, the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are aromatic and inviting with a weird root beer scented steam. In the mouth, they burst with dry, sweet, root beer flavor, managing to overcome the simple dry cake flavor of the pastry shell. The center seems to flavor the entire pastry when served warm, so the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts taste like a lot of hot root beer!

Regardless of temperature, the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts have a slightly dry aftertaste to them, though it does not last long after one has consumed the last of them.


A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are not the worst option as a component of a breakfast. A single pastry is considered a serving, which is weird given that they come sealed as two-packs. One A&W Root Beer Pop Tart has 200 calories, 45 of which are from fat! With 5 grams fat, one A&W Root Beer Pop Tart gives you 8% of your RDA of fat and 7% of your RDA of sodium. The 36 grams of carbohydrates provide 12% of your daily recommended intake! On the plus side, this flavor Pop Tart does have 10% of your RDA of Vitamin A, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron and Vitamin B6, which makes it more nutritious than some juices!

While there is not a lot to laud in the nutrition department, the ingredients in the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are not actually bad. Made primarily of Enriched Flour, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, it is actually a surprise how the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are not worse in the nutrition department than they are! The ingredient list quickly becomes a chemistry equation after gelatin.

There are notations that the A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts contain wheat and soy ingredients. They are not marked as Kosher, though I am not certain why that is.


A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts are very easy to clean up. Simply throw away the foil wrapper in an appropriate place, brush up the crumbs and you are done! Kept in their foil wrappers, A&W Root Beer Pop Tarts will remain fresh for a while; the ones we bought last week have an expiration date of September 20, 2017.


A&W Root Beer Limited Edition Pop Tarts are good, if not especially good for you, but for a breakfast pastry, they hit on just the right side of weird and delicious, especially when heated, to be worth recommending.

For other Pop Tarts, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Vanilla Latte Pop Tarts
Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts
Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter


For other food reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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