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Poppi: The Prebiotic Soda That You Should be Drinking

We can stop acting like sparkling water is just as good.

Strawberry Lemon Flavor poppi - text reads "it's time to love soda again"
Credit: Poppi

If you have somehow avoided hearing about Poppi, I’m sorry you’ve been missing out. That is about to change. The prebiotic soda has quickly become a favorite in the health and wellness community, and it’s easy to understand why. Between the lengthy list of gut health benefits and the wide array of flavors, Poppi is the gift that keeps on giving.

“Be Gut Happy. Be Gut Healthy.”

Credit: poppi

What is Poppi and What is a Prebiotic?

Simply put, Poppi is a prebiotic soda. But what does it mean to be a prebiotic soda? Prebiotics are a type of fiber that acts as food for the healthy bacteria in your gut. Poppi claims that prebiotics are a big help for healthy digestion. Every can of Poppi includes the prebiotic, agave inulin, which also acts as a natural sweetener. Yes, the agave tequilana plant; no, Poppi is not alcoholic, though it is great for cocktails. Not sold on Poppi yet? That’s okay, there’s more.

Apple cider vinegar, yes that breath-taking shot that your mother used to take every morning with her lemon water, is another one of the key ingredients in Poppi. Poppi claims that each can of soda contains the daily recommended dose. Apple cider vinegar naturally contains bacteria called Lactococcus and Acetobacter which studies show aid in gut health. This bacteria can also be referred to as the “mother.” Along with the health benefits, apple cider vinegar gives the beverages a “mouthwatering edge” that allows the flavors to stand apart from competitors.

Another benefit of the sweet drink is the lack of sugars that can be found in other sodas. Due to the low sugar content and the intentional use of each ingredient, an entire can of poppi has only 25 calories or less. You don’t need to settle for the “diet” or “zero” version when the real thing is better.

What Flavors Does Poppi Offer?

Nobody wants to substitute their favorite beverage for a less flavorful version just to stay within their calorie intake goals. The great thing about Poppi is that you don’t have to make that sacrifice. Poppi currently offers 11 flavors.

  • Raspberry Rose
  • Wild Berry (Brand New Flavor)
  • Strawberry Lemon (Fan Fav)
  • Cherry Limeade
  • Orange (Fan Fav)
  • Ginger Lime
  • Watermelon
  • Grape (New Flavor)
  • Doc Pop (New Flavor)
  • Classic Cola
  • Root Beer

The latter 3 are dupes for the flavors we all know and love. Doc Pop is Poppi’s version of Dr. Pepper and the other two are pretty self-explanatory. Thanks to Poppi, you can still enjoy your favorite flavors with a prebiotic enhancement hidden inside.

A brand-new flavor, Wild Berry, was launched at the brand’s very first pop-up called “Poppi Mart” in Los Angeles, California. Fans of the brand went wild about the new flavor, which created a lot of chatter online.

Where It All Began

Wife-and-husband duo Stephen and Allison Ellsworth began their journey to Poppi long before the conception of the beverage itself.

The partners both worked in the oil and gas industry. From this exposure to toxicities, Allison began to notice negative effects on her health. To combat the harsh reactions, she began to research how to get her health back on track. This research led her to prebiotics, gut health, and apple cider vinegar.

It is not recommended to consume this mixture on its own as it is harsh on the stomach and esophagus, so she began diluting it. Allison’s creativity in the kitchen led to a lightbulb moment. Everyone loves a delicious beverage, but people want to feel good about drinking it. This was a gap in the industry that Allison spotted, and she now had the perfect product to take advantage of the void.

From this idea sprouted Mother, the beverage that Allison and Stephen launched and later pitched on Shark Tank. What began as a couple selling at farmers’ markets has now escalated to a multi-million-dollar brand thanks to the help of shark, Rohan Oza.


My Kitchen to Shark Tank to Every Major Retailer 🫧 #sharktank #soda #drinkpoppi #sodasback #greenscreen

♬ original sound – Poppi

How Did They Pop Into The Market?

The beverage industry is described as “savage” and “cutthroat” by Shark Tank’s Rohan Oza. The brand needed a strategy to launch itself into the game that would allow them to compete with the powerhouses of the industry. The answer was very clearly marketing. Mother had a very unimpressive image; it could easily blend in with competitors and be forgotten. There needed to be a change that would set the brand apart and stick in its customers’ minds.

The brand already had an edge due to the prebiotic benefits to gut health, so they turned their attention to the image. Bright colors, playful graphics, and a snappy new name brought the founders to the final product we know and love today.

Poppi is Popping Up All Over Our Feeds

Success can be partially credited to the rebranding, but a new sparkly image was not the only factor in this equation. The brand has invested an enormous amount of energy in its marketing campaigns and overall strategy.

Poppi needed to find a way into its target market of health and wellness. A prebiotic soda was not going to resonate with everyone, but there was a huge public who would. This mode of thinking allowed Poppi to find its way to its target. The health and wellness girlies were easily reachable with a little bit of help. Poppi’s marketing strategy was to use a ton of influencer and celebrity partnerships.

Wait, You Saw Who? Drinking What?

Celebrities like Paris Hilton, Kylie Jenner, and Olivia Munn have been big supporters of the brand as well as beauty icon and founder of the popular skincare brand Rhode, Hailey Bieber. Paris Hilton attracted a lot of attention at the recent Poppi Mart installation, where she could be spotted in her iconic position behind the DJ booth. Sporting a Y2K look, she reflected the brand’s fun and energetic energy and sparked tons of interest from new customers.

As for the list of influencers, the limit does not exist. The reach of the brand in the online influencer market was demonstrated at Poppi Mart where the list was packed full of iconic faces. The not-so-short list of spotted influencers included Chris Olsen, Josh Richards, Stasi Karanikolaou, Harry Jowsey, Emmerson Allen, and Connor Wood.

It doesn’t stop at celebrities and influencers, though. With the cute graphics and the popping colors, Poppi made the ingenious move to sell merch to match the beverage. The “fresh” sweatsuits have been sent out in PR packages, and with all things influencers have, the masses must have as well. Who knew gut health would be such a fashion statement? The sweatsuits are a great way for Poppi to be seen outside of social media. No crowd is out of reach of the Poppi marketing team with these eye-catching sweatsuits strolling around.

Give The Social Media Team a Raise

The social media team must also be given credit where credit is due. They never miss an opportunity to make a witty post relating to the most recent pop culture references. Their creative lens seems to be limitless, and their posts are effectively hitting their target every time. The team did not miss their opportunity with the recent news of Taylor Swift’s upcoming album. Images of the cover were edited to feature cans of poppi alongside the celebrity. They even went as far as to edit the lyrics to make their own poem emphasizing the feeling of indulging in a midnight poppi.

Prebiotics Bring Some Complaints

With every good thing, there comes an Achilles heel. While everyone seems to love the product, it is the price tag that has people upset. With the recent installation of Poppi Mart, a lot of attention was drawn to the massive amount of marketing that the brand does. And as we all know, marketing is not cheap.

Critics of the brand have taken to social media to voice their complaints about the use of funds by the brand. With a can of Poppi costing $2.22, customers feel that the prices could be more affordable if the brand was a bit more frugal with its marketing budget. Of course, this begs the question, would these critics have ever heard of the brand had the marketing tactics not been so strategically composed?

Poppi has responded to the concerns by expressing their understanding. However, the brand stands by its pricing, drawing attention to the “no fake stuff” and the use of prebiotics. The brand claims that the ingredients require a higher price tag, but the benefits to the customers’ gut health make the investment worth it.

That being said, it’s not likely that a few internet trolls are going to bring down this up-and-coming beverage tycoon. If this brand stays on the path it’s on, Poppi is in for a very bright future.

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Written By

Hi, everyone! My name is Emma. I'm finishing up my last semester as a student of Communication and Marketing at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Barbara

    February 12, 2024 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you for the info… I will have to check into this as a substitute for the ‘zero’ drinks for my diabetic husband…

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