Soda for breakfast?
Now that Kellogg's has launched Orange Crush and A&W Root Beer flavored Pop-Tarts, it's a thing. And my co-workers and I had to try it.
Reactions for the Orange Crush included: "fruity, juicy, crispy," "abnormal orange," "like the orange jelly you get in a chocolate cube," "sickly sweet," and "like orange marmalade."
Reactions for the A&W Root Beer included: "Like root beer in a Tootsie Roll," "tastes like the counter at CVS smells, because of the chewing gum that's there," "chemical," "tastes specific, not just sweet," and "better than orange."
However appealing or unappealing these tastes sound, creating them is not simply a matter of pouring soda into a vat of Pop-Tart filling.
"Both flavors are made with ingredients that taste similar to A&W Root Beer and Crush Orange," said Shawn Jackson, a Pop-Tart PR rep. "Pop-Tarts worked closely with Dr. Pepper Snapple Group to give fans the flavors they crave most."
What commonly happens in these kind of flavor mashups, said Gavin Sacks, associate professor of food science at Cornell University, is that one company may provide the other with some flavoring agents as a starting point. Or none at all. Then they may work with a specialized "flavor house" in the $5.7 billion flavor and fragrant industry to tweak the flavoring compounds using a mix of "smart chemistry and intuition."
Tobjy Thompson is a senior flavorist at International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), one of the top three flavor firms. The primary character of root beer, he said, is its wintergreen flavor, commonly recreated using artificial methyl salicylate.
More from NBC News:
For things like A&W Root Beer, on the creamier, sweeter and light side of root beer, "it's going to have things like vanilla extract to tone it down, to tone down the harshness," he said.