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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

According to Abbigail

Olipop vs. Poppi: Which prebiotic pop comes out on top?
According+to+Abbigail

Regarding healthy soda alternatives, Olipop and Poppi propose the same benefits. Both have their respective followings, gaining popularity with influencers and consumers on TikTok, and people have pretty strong opinions. So, which gut-healthy drink is better?

Stacking up the stats 

Both drinks seek to add extra probiotics to their consumers’ daily diet. Prebiotics are dietary fibers most often found in vegetables, nuts and grains. While the goal is the same, the drinks take a slightly different approach to infusing these ingredients into their cans.

In Olipop, there are 9 grams of fiber per soda. Each contains the “OliSmart” blend, with funky-sounding natural ingredients to reduce inflammation and provide fiber, including chicory root fiber, cassava root fiber, Jerusalem artichoke inulin, marshmallow root, Kudzu root, calendula flower and nopal cactus.

In Poppi, there are 2 grams of fiber per can, using apple cider vinegar and agave inulin, a type of fiber. The smaller ingredient list is much less intimidating.

Jenn Schmidt, registered dietician, said in an article from her website, “From a science and nutrition standpoint, Olipop offers more fiber and researched functional ingredients. Poppi has less fiber and uses apple cider, but the research is still inconclusive on the potential benefits.”

Both are non-caffeinated and have less than 5 grams of sugar, but from a nutritional standpoint, Olipop is better.

Riley Scott
Taste testing 

For the taste test, I bought two comparable flavors from each brand: Olipop’s “Classic Grape” and “Vintage Cola” and Poppi’s “Grape” and “Classic Cola.” Each was about the same price, with Poppi around $2.50 and Olipop about $3.

Cracking open each can, I searched for which gave me the most bang for my buck while satisfying my soda craving.

As an avid Diet Coke drinker, I am used to soda that isn’t bursting with sweet flavor, so these drinks might appeal more to me than they would to someone who drinks the full-sugar versions. That said, I could tell that these alternatives were trying to give the same sugary effect as regular soda, but they fell short.

Olipop had more of a root aftertaste, almost like the notes in a root beer or ginger ale. It had a stronger grape flavor, comparable to the flavor that regular pop packs.

Poppi was more similar to sparkling waters like LaCroix or Bubbly. I had a harder time picking out the flavors in the pop, like the grape or cola flavors. On the bright side, I also had difficulty tasting the apple cider vinegar. The flavor is present but is significantly more subtle than Olipop.

Conclusion

With Olipop providing more researched health benefits, more fiber per can and less sugar in the flavors I tried, I felt more satisfied with the money I spent. The flavor of Olipop mirrored the classic flavor of grape soda and Coke significantly better than Poppi. While I don’t think either fizzy drink makes me want to put away pop, I would reach for Olipop over Poppi if I were looking for a beneficial and tasty alternative.

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About the Contributor
Riley Scott, graphic design chief
Graphic design chief for spring 2024.
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