When Mindy Freedman was a kid farming up in Atlanta, her institution organized color wars every summer. Children were put into different teams — red, blue, orange — and competed against each various other in assorted sports: dodgeball, soccer, squash. ~ a long day the games, as a reward, coaches passed the end Fla-vor-ice — in Georgia they speak to them “icees” — that synchronized to their team color. “Even if ns wasn’t on the red team, ns would constantly sneak a red pop because I love the cherry flavor for this reason much,” Freedman says.

Freedman is in her beforehand 20s now and on a hot day, she’s more likely to reach because that an iced coffee or a scoop that creamy gelato. But she sometimes reminisces about simpler times as soon as a freeze popular music was enough to take it on the heat.

For many Americans, memory of childhood and also summer are tied, at the very least in part, come the flavor and also ice-cold ease of the a candy-colored frozen pop. That’s partially why, because that the firm that manufactures several of the most popular freeze pop brands, Jel Sert, millennials space the brand-new target audience: but it’s equally around escapism than it is around nostalgia. “Let’s say you’re a 24-year-old, you go on social media, you view what’s walk on in the civilization — we are a product that permits you come escape every one of that,” says Gavin Wegner, marketing manager at Jel Sert, “whether that brings you earlier to childhood storage or allows you to create brand-new memories v your friends and also family.”

Regardless the the emotion they evoke, freeze pops room still a typical refreshment the choice, native California beaches to brand-new England backyards. Here’s a look at the past, present, and also future of freeze pops.




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What space freeze pops?

A freeze pop is a frozen treat very comparable to a popsicle, however instead of being consumed turn off a stick, it come in a clean plastic tube. The slim plastic pouch is about an inch thick and varies in length, though many are roughly 10 customs long. That sealed on every ends, and also requires the customer to rip open the optimal to access the sweet ice inside. The consumed merely by squeezing and also pushing the ice, i beg your pardon melts quickly, the end of the tube. Possibly the biggest difference between popsicles and freeze pops space that lock are marketed unfrozen, ready to be… popped into the freezer. This means they’re easier and cheaper to manufacture and also ship, and therefore cost less than other iced treats.

What space they do of?

Freeze pops room made indigenous sweetened, colored, and also flavored water. Ingredients encompass high furustos corn syrup, juice from concentrate, citric acid, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate — two preservatives used to stop bacterial growth. The nutritional worth is scant; each pop consists of a couple of grams that sugars and carbohydrates. Fabricated flavors and also colorings are offered to give the pops their distinctive fruitiness and bright hue. Seasonings vary depending upon the brand yet some classics are Fla-vor-ice’s strawberry and also Otter Pops’ grape.

Who renders them?

The finest selling brands — Fla-vor-ice, Otter Pops, and Pop-Ice — are all made by Jel Sert, a snack foods firm based in Illinois that has a tight grip on the freeze pop market.

Jel Sert got big in the 1930s after emerging line of renowned powdered drink mixes. In the 1960s, the company bought Pop-Ice, the brand that very first introduced the freeze-at-home product, and in 1969, it released a similar, but revamped product referred to as Fla-vor-ice. It blew up, and soon came to be Jel Sert’s ideal selling brand. In 1996, Jel Sert bought Otter Pops, a brand from southern California that overcame the West shore freeze popular music market. After getting its competitor, Jel Sert came to be the biggest supplier of freeze pops in America.

Other brand are easily accessible on the industry such together Pop-Ice, the initial freeze-at-home brand, and Kool Pops. Some newer brands, such as Goodpop, started selling freeze mister made v organic ingredients and sans preservatives. Pedialyte also sells frozen pops with added electrolytes aimed in ~ young youngsters recovering native the flu or severe situations of dehydration.

Grocery stores space Jel Sert’s primary distribution channel, “but friend can’t overlook e-commerce,” Wegner says. Freeze pops have come to be so famous on Amazon that the agency is having a tough time keeping up with the demand. Fla-vor-ice and also Otter Pops are the best- and second-best-selling ice cream cream assets on the platform, back this could be since they are two of the few ice cream commodities that are offered unfrozen.

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What’s in a name?

Freeze pop, icee, Otter popular music — no one seems to agree on what to speak to the frozen treat. Part name preferences autumn along local lines, with human being referring come them by everything brand surname is famous where lock live. Consumers on the West coast mostly contact them Otter Pops. People from the East shore usually speak to them Fla-vor-ice. Officially, follow to their makers, “Fla-vor-ice is east of the Rockies and Otter mister is West of the Rockies,” Wegner says. “We were the very first in the market with Fla-vor-ice, v this concept. So similar to Kleenex or Xerox, it was nice to have the ability to have the identity early on, wherein the brand surname pretty lot becomes the product itself.”

Despite Otter Pops and also Fla-vor-ice’s brand dominance, some generic terms exist. The most famous are ice pops, frozen pops, and also icees. A few years ago, Buzzfeed conducted a poll to shot and with a critical answer. Freeze pops to be the most well-known answer.

Are there any differences in between Fla-vor-ice and Otter Pops?

A fast look at your ingredient list mirrors that Fla-vor-ice and also Otter Pops are the specific same product, a vivid mix that water and also corn syrup. Also the flavors, though they have different names, space suspiciously similar.

Fla-vor-ice’s Berry Punch, because that example, tastes specifically like Otter Pops’ Louie Bloo Raspberry. The major difference in between the two assets is how they space marketed and branded. Fla-vor-ice uses straightforward branding, call its product the “right mix the flavor, sweetness and also smiles.” many of its original flavors are called after actual fruits, with tropical punch and berry punch being exceptions.

Otter Pops, top top the other hand, seems to aim its branding in ~ a younger audience. Its flavors are called after proprietary cartoon characters, including Alexander the Grape and Sir Isaac Lime. This cartoon otters each have their own individual style and also personality. Strawberry short Kook, because that example, is an completed movie producer and also “Otter-winning actor.” sir Isaac Lime — a made-up character based on the physicist sir Isaac Newton — is a “brilliant otter-space scientist.” every 10 characters, every a various flavor, have actually their very own backstories.

In 1996, prior to Jel Sert purchase the iced treat, Otter Pop’s original owner, national Pax Corp., do the efforts to change Sir Isaac Lime with a new flavor referred to as Scarlett O’ Cherry. Lock backed under after a team of children, led by a 9-year-old, picketed exterior their headquarters. Later that year, Jel Sert gained Otter Pops, and all of the cartoon otters gained to save their jobs.

Wait, I could swear that several of the flavors space different, despite — right?

Fla-vor-ice selling an assorted fill with its original flavors (lemon-lime, berry punch, grape, strawberry, orange, and also tropical punch), and a tropical load that has banana, pineapple, and tropical beat pops.

Otter Pops makes a more comprehensive array of flavors. “ is the brand we are putting some of our innovative products behind,” Wegner says. The firm sells a set of initial flavors (orange, lime, strawberry, blue raspberry, grape, and punch), but likewise produces a dry set, and a smaller fill of flavors made v coconut water. Its beach Breakers execution is comprised of comparable flavors to the initial line, however with much more of a sorbet consistency.

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Otter Pops additionally offers a fill made from only fruit juice, v no added corn syrup or artificial flavorings.