Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Wellness > Health

Olipop vs. Poppi: Looking into the Hype of Prebiotic Sodas 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

If there’s one stereotype people know about United States citizens, it’s that we love our soda. In 1980, each person in the United States consumed 35.1 gallons of soda per year–and in 2024, that number has jumped to 42.8 gallons per person, per year. 

Recently, however, attention has shifted to prebiotic sodas. These sodas contain nutrients that feed the bacteria in your stomach and aim to improve your digestion and metabolism while reducing inflammation and bloating. It’s no mystery why these sodas have become so popular. By taking the addictive carbonation, flavors of traditional soda, and promising health benefits, the market for prebiotic sodas has become competitive and full of options for any soda flavors, prices, and styles you could want. 

Two prebiotic soda companies–Olipop and Poppi–have become immensely popular, with both companies making a splash in the beverage market. Both have different faults and benefits, but it really depends on what you’re looking for in a prebiotic beverage. We the writers, Jazzy and Genevieve, have our own opinions to share–but at the end of the day, both sodas are worth trying. 

Genevieve’s Preference: Olipop 

Olipop was founded in 2018 by Ben Goodwin and David Lester, after working on developing a prebiotic soft drink for ten years. The work these partners put into developing a soft drink that promoted gut health shows in their final products–in 2024, the company has 12 total flavors and their root beer flavor has overtaken A&W root beer sales. 

Do the prebiotics in their sodas work? I’m no expert, but I definitely don’t feel worse after drinking their beverages. When I drink traditional soda, or even juice, I can feel queasy and bloated–almost like I’ve eaten an entire bag of gummy bears. I don’t feel that way after drinking Olipop, even though their drinks are just as sweet tasting. I have a relatively healthy diet for a college student and eat fruits and vegetables nearly every day, so I can’t really point to Olipop for my gut health right now. But, I drink Olipop about two times a week and never regret it in the way I regret a drink from Starbucks or a Sprite. It doesn’t give you superpowers–but it allows you to fulfill sweet cravings without the burping, bloating, or headaches that I get from normal soda. 

According to their official site, Olipop prioritizes flavor and health at the same time–the company argues that “Life is too short not to enjoy it, and too long to spoil it.” This leads to a guilt-free consumer experience–like many others, I enjoy a sweet treat, but Olipop balances sweetness and health in a way that makes my purchase much easier to justify. If nothing else, the business plan of Olipop is genius. It’s pricier than traditional sodas, with a four pack of Olipop Cola retailing at $9.99–but is still affordable for a regular treat for college students. 

The flavors of Olipop stray from the traditional soda flavors more than Poppi. While they have a root beer and cola flavor, their more unique flavors like crisp apple, strawberry vanilla, and classic grape are what set them apart from other prebiotic soda companies. The strawberry vanilla flavor tastes like strawberry jam in a can–I love it, and the classic grape flavor is sweet without being sickening. As someone who has never drank soda regularly, I enjoy the unique flavors more–it’s hard to feel nostalgic for a cola flavor that I never had previously. However, the flavors most often sold in grocery stores near me are the root beer and cola flavors, and I enjoy those as well.  

Olipop sells their sodas in variety packs online at $35.99 for twelve cans–which divides into around three dollars a can. Poppi is generally cheaper, with 12 cans ranging from $21 to $29, but offers fewer variety packs. I like trying new flavors and would get bored with a 12 pack of one– but, I’m a college student and can’t justify spending that much on beverages right now. Once I get a disposable income, Olipop will be receiving more of my patronage. 

From the fun flavors, to the small business support, to the digestive health benefits–Olipop is a brand I will gladly depend on for my sweet drink cravings.

Jazzy’s Preference: Poppi

Poppi was founded in 2016 by Allison Ellsworth and her husband. She always wanted to make a gut-free soda brand that is not vastly different from mainstream sodas but healthy at the same time. One day, when Allison was experimenting in her kitchen, she discovered that apple cider vinegar would be the key ingredient to something big. That is because apple cider vinegar has numerous benefits such as reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Poppi was born after mixing this concoction with inulin prebiotics and fruit juice. However, it really took off when Allison advertised Poppi on Shark Tank.

Poppi has many flavors, but more are being added to that list. The top three popular flavors are Strawberry Lemon, Orange, and DocPop. The newest flavors are Wild Berry and Lemon Lime. All the other flavors are Ginger Lime, Raspberry Rose, Grape, Cherry Limeade, Watermelon, Classic Cola, and Root Beer. 

Sometime in early 2024, I kept seeing people on TikTok rave about Poppi, the newest sensation in the soda market. Everyone kept saying how Poppi tasted great, and how they only contained a few grams of sugar. After what seemed like the 20th video of Poppi being featured in a video, that is when I knew I had to try Poppi for myself. 

I am the type of person who finds one flavor of anything I like, and I tend to stick to that flavor. The only soda I truly love is Dr. Pepper. Because of that, I knew the first flavor I wanted to try was DocPop, which was supposed to be a healthier alternative to Dr. Pepper. When I tried it, I could tell that it did not taste exactly like Dr. Pepper. However, I knew that these two flavors tasted similar, and it was a little hard to tell the difference between the two. 

It was a bit of a challenge finding Poppi at Target because they were always sold out due to the limited stock at my location. However, a local grocery store I found had plenty of Poppis in stock. I also saw some at a cafe at my university. I bought the flavors Strawberry Lemon (its can logo is the same as the Poppi logo) and Raspberry Rose. However, I only had time to try Raspberry Rose, which did taste a lot like raspberries, but the soda had a very fizzy texture. In DocPop, it was more subtle. 


Replying to @Now it’s Nance 🍸♊️ DUPE! It is so good. Get your soda fix! #drinkpoppi #sodasback #founder #sharktank #newyearnewme #fyp #dupe

♬ original sound – Poppi

In my opinion, I liked Poppi more than Olipop (I tried both) because Poppi’s flavors hit closer to the mainstream soda flavors we all know and love. I also love how the colors on the cans are very appealing, bold colors with simple graphics. Now I can see why people were raving about them in class! I think I will be buying more Poppis, and expanding my horizons to try new flavors. I say this brand deserves five stars, a ten out of ten, A+, or whatever the highest mark is. 

Do prebiotic sodas work? The evidence still isn’t confirmed. But, they’re fun to try, and the lower sugar levels and similar taste to sodas definitely make them worth trying. 

Genevieve Andersen is the President of HCCU, as well as a co-Campus Coordinator. As President, she oversees the senior executive team, executive team, national partnerships, and assists with coordinating events. She manages meetings, recruitment, campus communications, and chapter finances and is one of HCCU's biggest fans. Since she joined the club in 2021, she has found a passion for writing on subjects like politics, law, feminism, environmental justice, and local features. Outside of HCCU, Genevieve is a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in political science and French and minoring in journalism. Besides magazine writing, she has published and assisted with political science research, with her latest project involving international environmental policy being based in Geneva, Switzerland, where she worked with the United Nations Environmental Program and various European environmental NGOs. When she is not busy reading member's HCCU articles, you can find Genevieve on a ski or hiking trail, hanging out with her friends, playing with her dogs, or staring at her pet fish wishing he could be played with.
Jazzy Tung

CU Boulder '27

Jazzy Tung is a writer for Her Campus at University of Colorado Boulder (HCCU), and is a part of its social media team. This is her first year being a Her Campus member. She is so excited to be joining the HC team! Jazzy has always loved being involved with school media: in middle and high school, she was on the yearbook team. In her junior year of high school, she attended the National Student Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. (American University) for communication studies. That only fueled her love for journalism even more! She was also the president of her high school's Creative Writing Club. Currently, she is currently a freshman at the University of Colorado Boulder, who is majoring in journalism and planning to minor in international relations. She can't wait for the new adventures that college takes her through. Outside of school, Jazzy has a variety of interests. For example, she enjoys playing board and card games like UNO, spending time with friends and family, and surfing the internet for any interesting topic. Jazzy also has a large collection of notebooks in her room, most of which are from previous school years, that she saves in case she wants to write anything and everything later on. One of Jazzy's favorite hobbies, though, is stationery! She loves collecting pens, highlighters, sticky notes, and stickers.