Poppi, a prebiotic soda brand, raised $13.5 million in a Series A2 round and is on a quest to dominate the emerging “functional soda” sector by providing a better-for-you product that also tastes delicious.
CAVU Ventures is among the investors, as are Russell Westbrook, the Chainsmokers, 24kGoldn, Kygo, Halsey, Kevin Love, Ellie Goulding, Olivia Munn, Nicole Scherzinger, Chantel Jeffries, Noah Beck, Josh Richards, Griffin Johnson, and Blake Gray from the sports and entertainment worlds.
Former oil and gas researchers Stephen and Allison Ellsworth, husband and wife co-founders, invented the soda in 2020 after Allison Ellsworth began experiencing stomach troubles two years previously. She went to the doctor without getting a firm diagnosis, so she turned to the internet for help. She discovered that gut health accounts for 80% of our body’s immunity and that she could help by mending her body through diet.
Apple cider vinegar was one of the items that helped with her stomach difficulties, but she found it tough to drink it straight every day. So she went into the kitchen to make a drink that would help her handle the vinegar while still being good enough to consume on a regular basis.
The result was a drink that was a hit at a Dallas farmers market, leading to the two being invited to sell Poppi at Whole Foods Market. They subsequently chose to resign their employment and focus solely on Poppi, landing a transaction on Shark Tank in December 2018 with CAVU Ventures co-founder Rohan Oza.
Poppi contains about a spoonful of apple cider vinegar, sparkling water, genuine fruit, and plant-based sweeteners in a recipe that provides a balance of gut-friendly prebiotics that help with digestion, immunity, and bright skin.
Watermelon, strawberry lemon, raspberry rose, and orange is among the nine varieties available for $2.49 per can. Target, Safeway, Kroger, Publix, Whole Foods, and Amazon.com are just a handful of the stores carrying them.
Customers are now telling the Ellsworths that Poppi has “changed their lives,” according to them.
Allison Ellsworth stated, “At the end of the day, we are bringing out a product that is healthy and tastes delicious.” “We don’t want to be a niche health product — that’s a side effect of what we’re trying to do, but it’s nice to have.”
Another plus is that the Ellsworths claim that their annual growth has put Poppi in first place in the functional soda category, which has grown 465 percent year over year according to data from research firm SPINS, based on four-week data from SPINS ending June 13, 2021.