Chloe's began as a retail store in Manhattan selling frozen fruit desserts out of a soft serve machine and soon after started making individually packaged frozen fruit pops sold in stand-alone freezers within its stores.
"A large day camp in New York City came in and ordered 5,000 pops, and that's when we realized we were in the pops business," co-founder Chloe Epstein told FoodNavigator-USA. "The business model pivoted and we started to think about CPG and we went exclusively into HEB in Texas at 179 stores."
A company with kids in mind
For Epstein, the brand's kids line extension is a fulfillment of the original mission she had when launching Chloe's CPG Pops back in 2014. As a mom of young kids, Epstein was always searching for a clean label treat with simple ingredients that weren't loaded with artificial ingredients, but felt dismayed at the options available.
Partnering with Nickelodeon (2018 total viewership of 932,000, according to Nielsen data), will help Chloe's better reach a new target consumer audience of young kids.
“Who better to capture kids’ attention than the number-one entertainment brand for children?,” commented Epstein.
"For me, the kids part of this is why we started the business: to offer clean, exciting options that kids could enjoy and parents could feel excited about," Epstein told FoodNavigator-USA. Chloe's saw a hole in the market for pops that appeal to a younger age group (aged 2-6), addressing the market need by creating a smaller version that kids could finish in one sitting.
"We were getting a lot of feedback that kids love our pops, but for the younger ones they were not able to finish them," Epstein said.
For its kids line, Chloe's used the same base ingredients as its core line (fruit puree, water, and cane sugar) but went with a 1.5-ounce (compared to the 2.5-ounce original size), 'bullet' shape available in fruit combinations of blueberry banana and strawberry-mango, emblazoned with Nickelodeon characters. Each pop contains 40 calories packaged in a 10-count box for $3.98-$6.99.
While there have already been sightings of the Nickelodeon-themed kids line on store shelves since making its debut at the Natural Products Expo West show earlier this month, Epstein said that its kids pops will be available nationwide at Walmart, ShopRite, and other major retailers by the end of May.
Dipping into 'permissable indulgence'
While many consumers have health and wellness at the forefront when choosing snacks, the concept of "treating yourself" is a powerful force. Market research firm Mintel found more than half of US consumers say they snack as a way to 'treat themselves'. Despite the propensity to indulge, health plays a key role in the types of snacks consumers eat.
Chloe's is targeting this balancing act of health and indulgence with its newest line of frozen pops dipped in dairy-free dark chocolate with 120 calories per pop available in strawberry dipped, banana dipped (a flavor first for the company), and dark chocolate dipped with organic quinoa puffs.
"The reason we were looking to venture into that space is because we felt like people really valued the simplicity of our core pops, but our data was showing that our dark chocolate SKU is ranked No. 2 and working its way to No. 1, which indicated to us that consumers are really looking for a permissible indulgence," Epstein said.
"We wanted to get just a little more decadent."