'Prebiotic Soda' Mother Rebrands As Poppi, Tries To Make Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Cool

by Rudy Sanchez on 01/07/2020 | 2 Minute Read

The ancient Roman army was one of the most formidable battalions in Europe in its heyday, with some attributing that strength from “posca,” a mixed drink of vinegar, sweeteners, and herbs that was a constant in your typical Roman solider’s rations.

They thought the beverage gave them resilience, and a Roman maxim extolled the virtue of posca while also claiming that wine inebriates, “posca fortem, vinum ebrium fecit.” Vinegar’s consumption to improve health and well-being lasts to this day, and when Allison and Stephen Ellsworth found that drinking shots of apple cider vinegar improved their health, they set out to create a more palatable "prebiotic soda." Originally called “Mother,” the duo—armed with an investment from “Shark Tank” host and CAVU Ventures founder Rohan Oza—decided to rebrand their line of vinegar-containing drinks to Poppi.

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Allison told BevNET that Oza was impressed and interested in the beverage itself-but not so much the Mother branding. This lead them to refocus the brand, reimagining Mother as a beverage with broader appeal and a focus on the product’s core value proposition.

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At first, the Ellsworths called their drink an “apple cider vinegar beverage” called Mother, packaging them in glass bottles. They found that Mother wasn’t singular enough to copyright and that many consumers were put off by vinegar. They also observed that consumers prefer aluminum cans to bottles, so the CAVU branding team went to work on a year-long rebranding effort, changing the description of the beverage to the more appealing “prebiotic soda.”

The brand relaunched as Poppi, changing the focus of the drinks healthy bona fides without conjuring the acidic smell or taste that comes with apple cider vinegar.

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Visually, Poppi uses bright colors and graphics inspired by its flavors like Orange, Lime-Ginger, and Pineapple-Turmeric. At first glance, you likely wouldn't know that each 12oz can contains a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Poppi is a play on “soda pop,” and as part of the rebranding, the beverage gets repositioned as a “better-for-you” soda rather than a healthy drink. The new branding, look, and positioning makes the beverages appealing to a more youthful consumer with its simplistic, Pop Art leanings.

Poppi is available from their website as well as stores throughout the southwest US like Whole Foods and Sprouts.

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