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OLIPOP’s Prebiotic Root Beer Is Now More Popular Than A&W

The “functional beverage” known as OLIPOP continues to take over the world—this time, by domming the GOAT of the root beer.
OLIPOP’s Root Beer Is Now More Popular Than A&W
Photo courtesy of OLIPOP

Do you float, bro? No, I don’t mean in a sensory deprivation chamber (although I’ve done that, and it was terrifying), nor do I mean surfing the skies on one of those giant balloons in the Macy’s Day Parade. I’m also not asking in the same way as the razor-toothed clown in IT. What I’m asking, Chad, is whether you are an elite beverage connoisseur who puts a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a glass, then fills it to the brim with a delicious, sugary soda—specifically, root beer? So, do you float?


Float-heads know that A&W, Mug, and Barq’s have long been the GOATs of the root beer world; but just as there was Michael Jordan until there was Kobe, and then there was Kobe until there was LeBron, such is the case with the soda lords as well. It is with this in mind that we must break the news that A&W has been dethroned—by none other than bougie prebiotic “functional beverage” brand OLIPOP. That’s right—a n00b has come in and dunked on an OG. 

If you’re not immediately thinking of your favorite flavor of OLIPOP when I mention the brand name, let me jog your memory. Launched in 2018, OLIPOP is one of the heavy hitters in that now-huge category of refrigerated, canned beverages that taste like delicious soda but purportedly have more healthful properties than a (decidedly nutritional-value-free) classic Coke or Baja Blast. In particular, this specific brand has become super-popular by offering an array of novel and nostalgia-inducing flavors (including but not limited to strawberry vanilla, grape, and, of course, root beer) as well as flashing a baller collab with none other than the Minions

I live in LA, so I might be biased since every grocery store is absolutely packed with kombuchas, kefirs, and probiotic drinks, but this stuff is EVERYWHERE—and honestly, it’s pretty damn good. Actress and comedian Esther Povitsky, who does segments about “hot girl” anthropology on TikTok, has spoken about the reign of the Tropical Punch flavor in babe circles. According to OLIPOP, the brand grew 223% in 2022 alone, making it the “fastest-growing refrigerated functional beverage brand in the United States.” Its drinks are low-cal, gut-friendly, and made with Erewhon-sounding ingredients (fresh fruit juices, cassava root fiber, chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, calendula flower, marshmallow root, cactus, kudzu root, and slippery elm bark).


Having tasted the OLIPOP root beer myself, I can confirm that it’s just as good as the traditional stuff, and I didn’t miss the extra sugar and calories at all (all OLIPOP drinks run about 35 to 45 calories, compared to 140 calories for the same amount of classic soda). In fact, old school root beer can be kind of cloying and syrupy, whereas this mysterious tonic (IDK what else to call it—sorry, “functional beverage”) is surprisingly refreshing. 

$35.99 at Olipop

$35.99 at Olipop

While it may be hot off the heels of its root beer domination, OLIPOP also just released a lemon-lime flavor for all the Sprite-heads out there who are forlornly longing for a lower-cal, arguably healthy version—this one “tastes like sweet key lime pie with a fresh squeeze of lemon, with only 4 grams of sugar—in stark contrast to the almost 40 grams of sugar that consumers will find in cans of traditional lemon lime soda,” according to OLIPOP. (Personally, I’m a Classic Grape or Tropical Punch girl, although I do still have one banana-flavored Minion OLIPOP in my fridge since it’s now a collector’s item.) 

Sorry, A&W. At least you’ve still got those cool trompe l'oeil cans.

OLIPOP’s root beer is available at OLIPOP and Amazon.

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