A week after her son was ill, Teiner read a story in Dirt Magazine focused on the Rutgers Food Innovation Center in Bridgetown, NJ, and how to bring food ideas to concept. Teiner reached out to the center and met lead scientist Julie Elmer, who told her to contact a food scientist graduate from Pennsylvania State University since the college has a creamery. Through a Google search, Teiner ended up meeting Joe Flock, a food scientist and graduate from Pennsylvania State University. When Teiner first talked to Flock, he loved the idea behind the company and believed it had potential. Currently, Flock is Teiner’s partner for Feel Better Pops.
The mission of Feel Better Pops is to put the “fun” into functional foods. The company hopes to build a brand caregivers can trust and feel good about it and that appeals to kids as well. But the ice pops aren’t only intended for kids or when a person is feeling ill. They can be enjoyed for wellness support or as a healthy snack. The company’s vision is to have hospitals and other healthcare institutions use Feel Better Pops as part of their care plans, taking the concept of “better for you” to the next level.
“Our goal is to fill every freezer in the U.S. with a box of Feel Better Pops,” Teiner said.
Since the company’s launch, its ice pops have gained a strong following among health food and grocery store shoppers, especially moms and kids who are drawn to their taste, healthy ingredients, and immune support qualities. The company continues to build its brand in markets that make sense and serve its consumer targets.
Feel Better Pops are designed with a simple yet complex recipe. Most ice pops use water as the first ingredient since it freezes well. However, Teiner decided to use fruit first, followed by coconut water, sweetened with honey, a touch of organic cane sugar, herbal extracts, and a patented strain of probiotics.
When developing the first prototypes, it was challenging to freeze the pops since they consisted mainly of solid fruit. The “Brix” of the pops—which is a measure of their sugar content in an aqueous solution—was very high, so Teiner’s formulators had to work through bringing the amount of solid fruit down while still staying true to the nature of the pops.
“We didn’t want to be another watered-down ice pop, which is why we are really frozen fruit pops,” Teiner said. “You can definitely taste the difference in our pops.”
Each ingredient in Feel Better Pops was chosen for functionality, low allergen risk, and taste. For the first line of pops, Tummy and Immunity, the ingredients needed to support digestion and wellness. The company took the old BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) diet and kicked it up a notch by using fruits like organic apple sauce, pineapple, and peaches. Feel Better Pops also added cinnamon, ginger, and chamomile since they have been used for centuries to support gut health. Lastly, the company added a GanedenBC30, a patented probiotic ingredient found in foods and drinks to support digestion and immune health, which can withstand freezing temperatures, while still maintaining potency.
The flavors of Feel Better Pops currently available are Pineapple Banana Smoothie, Apple Pie, and Simply Peach. The company will continue to nurture the growth of its existing pops and explore new channels and demographics. Likewise, Teiner will be working on new varieties for Feel Better Pops that cater to other aspects of health and healing. Some of the innovations the company hopes to bring to market soon include mango CBD, cherry throat soother with elderberry, and orange creamsicle with turmeric to try and capture not only its existing audience, but also others who have taken an interest in these health ingredients and are looking for an original delivery form.
“I love all the flavors but there’s something about the peach that makes my taste buds smile,” Teiner said. “Our new flavor mango is outstanding and may move peach down in the running.”
Feel Better Pops won the 2019 Eco-Excellence Award for “Best Alternative” Remedy. The Eco-Excellence Awards are in its ninth edition and are sponsored by Natural Child World (NCW) Magazine, which recognizes excellence in social and environmental sustainability for products, services, companies, and websites across the whole foods, health, and wellness industries.
NCW Magazine has been committed to sustainability and social responsibility for nearly a decade, supporting companies and people looking to find healthier and smarter ways for children to thrive. The magazine is part of the Natural Child World platform, a voice for companies who are making smart choices in how they interact with the world and a support forum for parents to make better and more informed buying decisions.