By: Alexa Shabinsky By: Alexa Shabinsky | February 1, 2022 | People
The soda industry is seeing an exciting shift into the health and wellness space, and OLIPOP is at the forefront of this new wave of soda. Founded by David Lester and Ben Goodwin, the two set themselves on a mission to create a product that tastes good and has actual benefits.
Ben Goodwin and David Lester
Like many, Lester had an interesting relationship with soda growing up. “I remember playing soccer and at lunchtime on a sunny day, getting a cold can of Coke from the vending machine and it just tasting like liquid gold,” he said.
With nostalgia leading the brand's flavor profile, flavors include Classic Root Beer, Vintage Cola, Strawberry Vanilla, Orange Squeeze, Cherry Vanilla, Classic Grape and Ginger Lemon.
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When Lester and Goodwin began the ideation process they decided on creating a product that was a solution for digestive health, that came in a very consumer-friendly format. Lester used one of their classic flavors as an example when he expressed, “We can make a root beer that is low in sugar and has a range of eight different plant-based ingredients to support your microbiome, including plant nucleus, botanicals, fiber and prebiotic.”
OLIPOP’s have between 35-45 calories, 9 grams of plant-based prebiotic fiber, 6-7 grams of carbs and 2-5 grams of natural sugars.
The company just wrapped its first years of clinical trials, and the product has scientifically proven to increase microbial diversity in the gut as well as the production of short-chain fatty acids.
After three years on the market, and much success the brand is excited to announce the competition of its $30 Million Series B funding round, led by Monogram Capital Partners. This amazing group of investors includes many A-list celebrities like Camila Cabello, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas, Mindy Kaling, Logic and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Lester and Goodwin know how important the funding process is, but are very particular about who they open their company up to. Lester explained, “We've been able to pick the investors that we want to work with and individuals who we want to bring in. What's been really cool is that sort of mutual respect each way, where you can see they're genuinely excited to be a part of this.”
Following this raise, the brand is valued at $200 Million, and the OLIPOP team could not be more proud of how far they have come. Lester expressed, “We really respect the fact that people are putting money that they have been entrusted with or earned through their own endeavors into something that we really believe in and trusting us with that. It's created a really cool ecosystem within our business.”
But the company is not stopping here, Goodwin, Lester and the rest of the OLIPOP team is excited for what the future holds. With many more categories in the soda space on their mind, they are thoughtfully thinking through the next steps from formula to marketing.
From a newly-launched national roll-out in Target to a huge Publix rollout later this month, OLIPOP is truly revolutionizing the soda industry, one can at a time.
Photography by: Courtesy OLIPOP