Pop-Tarts are hot on Times Square

Eden Estephan (right) makes a custom Pop-Tart creation Monday in the Pop-Tarts World store in New York's Times Square.

One of Kellogg Co.'s most popular brands is popping up in Times Square on Tuesday at Pop-Tarts World, with more than 3,000 square feet dedicated to toaster pastries.

Customers will be able to eat Pop-Tart "sushi," order a customized pastry or create a custom box filled with a mix of their favorite flavors. They can suggest new types of Pop-Tarts, select a Pop-Tarts T-shirt made by specialty artists or get "frosted" and "wrapped in foil" by a light show.

It's the first time Kellogg has focused a store on one product to cash in on its dedicated following and increase its exposure. The company hopes to make the new store a fixture in Times Square, where the Hershey store and Mars Inc.'s M&M's World already have stand-alone emporiums.

Pop-Tarts -- two layers of pastry with sweet filling -- have been a Kellogg mainstay for nearly 50 years; about 2 billion sell each year. But it wasn't until the recent rise of social media that Kellogg grasped the dedication of Pop-Tarts fans.

Brand manager Andrew Shripka says the Pop-Tarts Facebook page is one of the social network's 20 most popular, surprising even some Kellogg employees.

The shop's focus will be a cafe offering about 30 new Pop-Tart treats like "ants on a log," Kellogg says. That's celery with peanut butter, sprinkled with wild grape Pop-Tarts. Pop-Tart "sushi" is a combination of three fruit varieties rolled together in a fruit wrap and sliced to look like a sushi roll.

"We were able to see the passion from consumers for the brand; this is another way to interact directly with them," Shripka said.