Unfrosted: Is Grandma Kellogg’s Based on a Real Person?

In Netflix’s ‘Unfrosted,’ a war is waged between two giants in the cereal industry. It is the 1960s, and Post and Kellogg’s are trying to up their game and rule the competition by inventing a new breakfast cereal that will change the entire game. The narrative is mainly focused on the creation of Pop-Tarts and the lengths to which Kellogg’s went to make it. At the same time, we see Post trying to come up with its own revolutionary product while racing against time to bring it into the market. But creating something alone is not enough. One also needs to market it, and Kellogg’s does that by printing Grandma Kellogg’s stories on the Pop-Tarts boxes. How much of that story is real?

Grandma Kellogg is Fictional, Like the Majority of Things in Unfrosted

When talking about the movie with Variety, writer-director-actor Jerry Seinfeld said that as a comedian, “the last thing that would interest [him] would be the truth.” While he chose Kellogg’s story and its cutthroat rivalry with Post as the premise for his first directorial, he preferred not to stick to historical accuracy while writing the story. Instead, he went into uncharted territories, creating fictional characters and overly exaggerated scenarios with well-known personalities of the 1960s to create less of an origin story and more of a parody of one. Grandma Kellogg’s story is also a part of that approach.

The film opens with a young boy eating Pop-Tarts and reading about Grandma Kellogg and how she came up with the idea of making Pop-Tarts. He says it is a good story but is countered by an older man, revealed to be Bob Cabana (played by Seinfeld), who tells the boys that the story is a lie. The true events behind the creation of Pop-Tarts are very much different. He offers to narrate that real story to the boy, but in an ironic twist, what unfolds next is one ridiculous turn of events after another, only thinly resembling how the Pop-Tarts actually came into existence.

The grandma story is just a ploy by Kellogg’s to sell their product, which explodes into the market and immediately becomes a favorite. It is the desire to crush the competition that fuels Kellogg’s and its employees to create Pop Tarts, a version of which was already under the works in Post, who, apparently, had stolen the idea from Kellogg’s in the first place. Of course, when selling the product, they couldn’t market the rivalry with all the spying and fighting and whatnot to the consumer. Rather, the person buying the product would feel better if they were told that the thing they were eating was created by a grandma figure, giving them the feeling of a homemade delicacy, forming the emotional connection and prompting them to eat more of it. This is another fictional element added in the film, a plot device for the character to tell the “real story” instead of the one they normally tell people.

Read More: Unfrosted: Is the Bowl and Spoon Awards Real?