Two Prebiotic Soda Alternatives That Actually Taste Good — An Honest Review Of Poppi & Olipop
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s spring editorial intern Katelyn Rodriguez. Find her on Instagram at @katelynrodwrites. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
Lately, I’ve been trying to heal my gut and stay away from sugary drinks. However, I love sipping on something while working or relaxing, so I knew it would be a challenge for me. I knew about the healthy soda alternative brands Poppi and Olipop from social media ads and TikTok sponsorships. A few weeks ago I went down a rabbit hole of buying Poppi because I saw it was on sale at Safeway for 2 for $4. I thought it was a steal so I bought two to try and fell in love. Since then I’ve practically bought out my stores and even found other flavors on a recent trip to LA, so obviously, I stocked up and brought some home with me. On the other hand, when it comes to Olipop, I know a lot of people like it and the variety of flavors they have. I have only tried a couple of flavors and have finally come to a verdict when it comes to what prebiotic soda I like most. With that being said, here is my unfiltered healthy soda alternative review of Poppi and Olipop!
Here’s What You Need To Know About Each Brand
Poppi was founded in Dallas, Texas in 2016 by Allison and Stephen Ellsworth. According to its website, Poppi was created in the couple’s kitchen by using a combination of apple cider vinegar and fresh fruit juice. They later began selling it at the farmer’s market where it sold out. They took their product, then known as Mother Beverage, to the hit ABC show “Shark Tank” in 2018 where they received an investment from one of the sharks. However, according to Forbes, the product was rebranded into Poppi and launched during the pandemic on Amazon and other food delivery sites. When it comes to ingredients, Poppi is simple, seeing that it contains apple cider vinegar, fresh fruit and natural sweetener to name a few. Each can is only 25 calories and contains roughly 5 grams of sugar. It comes in 10 flavors which include ginger lime, root beer, classic cola and strawberry lemon to name a few. Poppi can be found in a variety of stores, such as Whole Foods, Safeway and Target.
On the other hand, Olipop is based in Oakland, California and was founded in 2017 by Ben Goodwin and David Lester. Instead of labeling itself as a prebiotic soda, Olipop has branded itself as a sparkling tonic. Its website states that the founders work with a team of gut microbiome experts to “translate cutting edge research and findings into OLIPOP’s product development.” Olipop’s mission is to feed life, adapt & improve and enjoy. When it comes to ingredients, Olipop uses OLISmart, its formula which contains “a blend of 7 unique botanicals, plant fibers, and prebiotics, each hand-picked for their distinct biome-supporting benefits.” Each can contains roughly 2 to 5 grams of sugar and is 35-50 calories depending on the flavor. It currently comes in 13 flavors, including vintage cola, strawberry vanilla, banana cream and tropical punch, and is available to purchase in stores and on Amazon.
When comparing both Poppi and Olipop, one thing stood out to me most and that’s taste. I am more drawn to Poppi because I like that it isn’t very sweet and that there’s a hint of flavor, but doesn’t taste bland like some sparkling beverages. Each flavor that I’ve tried thus far has exceeded my expectations and I have found some of my favorites, such as raspberry rose, ginger lime and classic cola. However, when I tried Olipop’s strawberry vanilla and classic cola flavors I immediately noticed they were a lot sweeter than Poppi and had an aftertaste. I almost couldn’t finish the can due to how sweet it was. Although I don’t like the taste of Olipop, people who like cream soda will, especially because of the richness and subtle fizziness of the drink along with the flavor variety.
Another thing I noticed is that roughly 20 minutes after I was done drinking Olipop I noticed my stomach was sour, which is something I don’t experience with Poppi. However, upon doing some more research on the brand’s website, I discovered Olipop contains 9 grams of fiber per can due to the chicory root inulin and Jerusalem artichoke inulin used in it, which is a fiber found in certain plants. According to Olipop, “If you are increasing the amount of fiber in your diet, you could have some unexpected and uncomfortable side effects like bloating, gas, cramping, and possibly either diarrhea or constipation.” However, Poppi only contains 2 grams of dietary fiber per can for each flavor and only uses one kind of inulin derived from the agave plant.
Overall the taste, flavor options and ingredients of Poppi are more up my alley than Olipop. Everything about Poppi is easy to understand, from its ingredients to its benefits. It’s safe to say I have officially switched over to a healthy soda alternative and I’m excited to see what new flavors Poppi comes out with!
Have you tried either of these healthy soda alternatives? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!