Fashion / Wellness

Texas-Based Poppi Offers a Healthy Soda Alternative — and Makes Apple Cider Vinegar Appetizing

Their Bubbles With Benefits Are Right on Trend

BY // 01.06.22

I’ll try anything in the name of wellness. Not too long ago, after reading that Hilary Duff takes a shot of apple cider vinegar every morning, I attempted the same hoping for the immunity-boosting benefits that ACV research has touted. But here’s the thing: pure apple cider vinegar on its own is unpleasant. No amount of prebiotics or good bacteria were worth the trouble. Fortunately, one determined Texas couple found a way to make getting a daily dose of unfiltered apple cider vinegar not just tolerable, but genuinely tasty — meet Poppi.

With flavors as crisp and fun as the brand’s packaging (the website is also a work of graphic design art), the unique drink from husband-and-wife team Allison and Stephen Ellsworth first gained traction at the Dallas Farmer’s Market before getting a major boost from Shark Tank‘s Rohan Oza in 2018. Poppi’s promise of a clean, healthy alternative to classic sodas feels particularly attractive at the start of a new year (which coincides with the rise of the functional fizz trend), so we caught up with co-founder Allison to learn more about the low-calorie, good-for-you drink’s journey.

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The low-calorie soda is as pretty as it is good for you.

I’ve been a fan of Poppi since it was called “Mother Beverage.” Can you explain the decision and process of rebranding? 

After getting our deal on Shark Tank, we found out that trademarking the word “Mother” wasn’t possible, so we took the opportunity to step back and rethink the brand from the ground up. We spent an entire year on the rebrand to make sure it was as strong as the product! People are initially drawn to a brand and the packaging more than they are to a product so that’s where we started.

Out of the gate we leaned toward a clean and simple design with white being the primary color of the label design. White tends to communicate clean and natural ingredients, which is what Poppi is all about. But when we began playing around with different colors to match the different flavors, there was just something about it that evoked fun and happiness. It was hard not to want to pick up a can and drink it. Ultimately we chose fun and flavor and couldn’t be happier that we did! Poppi literally pops off the shelf and has proven to be “Insta-worthy” by our loyal online community. It’s been so much fun to watch the brand grow legs.

Branding is so important and something we spend a lot of time on. If you have a brand and a fantastic product then the sky’s the limit. I always recommend that other companies spend just as much time on the branding as they do the product — it truly makes all the difference. 

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Strawberry Lemon, Raspberry Rose, and Orange are some of the most popular Poppi flavors.

As someone who once attempted to take a shot of apple cider vinegar every morning (woof), I’m dying to know how you perfected the formula for making it palatable. 

It took months if not years. I love spending most of my free time in the kitchen and I thought to myself, I can make this taste better! Let’s just say it took a lot of trial and error and a ton of taste testing, but it is a true passion of mine and something I love to do. I still make every new flavor that comes out.

I developed Poppi for the health benefits but now I drink it every day because it tastes good. What’s better than that? There is nothing better to me than Poppi paired with a meal.

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“There is nothing better to me than Poppi paired with a meal.” – Poppi co-founder Allison Ellsworth.

The Amazon reviews for Poppi are off-the-charts positive. How does it feel to see nationwide feedback like that pouring in? 

Poppi is like my fourth child. I feel like a super proud parent. The best part about Amazon reviews is that they are all real and authentic. We get so many customers reaching out and telling us how Poppi has changed their life. I have received personal handwritten notes and DMs telling me how Poppi has cured their gut problems or how they were addicted to sugary soda and now they only drink Poppi and feel amazing. Hearing stuff like this makes me so grateful and it’s what keeps me motivated to work so hard every day. We love our Poppi family!

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Allison Ellsworth, co-founder of Poppi.

Is there a limit to how many Poppis you can drink a day? 

No way! We always say everything in moderation, but we find ourselves crushing at least two cans a day. It’s hard to have too much of something this good.

Photo Mar 25, 7 05 22 PM
Poppi’s new “Classics” collection offers better-for-you versions of America’s favorites.

What are the most popular Poppi flavors? 

Strawberry Lemon, Raspberry Rose, and Orange are hits. However, we just launched our classics line which consists of Doc Pop, Root Beer, and Classic Cola — they are starting to take over!

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