Olipop rounds out portfolio of nostalgic soda flavors with Ginger Ale

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: Olipop
Image Credit: Olipop

Related tags Olipop Gut health Prebiotic

Prebiotic soda brand Olipop once again taps into classic soda flavors with its new release Ginger Ale as the functional soda space continues to expand from health-conscious consumers, the brand’s director of growth and strategy Steven Vigilante told FoodNavigator-USA.

Ginger ale is a perfect next step for us to continue establishing ourselves as the New Age traditional soda brand, and there really aren't any other functional ginger ales on the market,” ​Vigilante said. “It's our last big new launch this year, but it was also heavily requested from customers. People love ginger ale, and the consumer base is moving away from the 45 grams of sugar plus out in the market.​”

Providing a better-for-you soda option with nostalgic flavors

Following the release of its Lemon Lime flavor earlier this year​, Olipop’s Ginger Ale is available online and will be available nationwide at Whole Foods stores in a 12-pack of cans. Similar to its other flavors, Olipop’s Ginger Ale contains 5g of sugar and includes 9g of fiber per can.

Olipop has focused on fruity and nostalgic soda flavors like root beer and cherry cola, Vigilante said. And while the classic soda flavors have found an audience, he admitted that the company wasn't sure they would because the original product was marketed in a different category initially.

Early days, we weren't sure if people were going to gravitate to the traditional soda flavors because there historically hadn’t been traditional soda players sold in the natural channel. And so, we launched calling the product a sparkling tonic, so we weren't sure if people would respond to a new kind of soda, which is our tagline. We quickly realized that we were wrong.​”

Growing as a brand, helping create the functional, better-for-you soda 

Gut health has emerged as a key growth area​ for the soft drink category, as prebiotic and probiotic sodas have gained a foothold among everyday consumers. This meant that Olipop has had to adjust its messaging and marketing beyond the natural channel where it first found success to a broader audience base, Vigilante said.

“Going back 18 months, we were still mostly sold in the natural channels, so Whole Foods, Sprouts, Erewhon, Wegmans. And the first half of last year, we went nationwide with Target, Publix, Walmart, and ATB, so pretty much overnight had to evolve our communication strategy and our marketing strategy to talk to a much more mass consumer, think a bit more like the diet soda drinker than the kombucha drinker.​”

Competition in the gut health soda space has accelerated with brands like Poppi, Culture Pop, and others entering and growing in the market. But as Vigilante explained, this competition is needed to expand the category, and the company is going after more diet-soda occasions from the larger soda players.

"There's obviously a healthy competition in this kind of functional soda set. At the end of the day though, you need a bunch of good products to build a category; you can't build a category by yourself. You're not going to convince Whole Foods to switch out the kombucha fridge for just Olipop. They're going to want to have several brands in there. And so, we view competition as a necessary part of growing the category, and we want to try to lift everybody up.​"

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