The most common childish question “Why?” can lead to great answers and to even greater solutions. It is a fact that every parent is likely to have a negative opinion about candies, lollipops and other kind of sweets which are so attractive to children! Once when Alina Morse, a 7-year-old girl visited a bank with her father, the bank teller offered her a lollipop but her dad explained to his daughter that it would be unhealthy and bad for her teeth. At that moment she thought to herself: “Why can’t lollipops be healthy”? And what Alina did learn from this situation is that children need a healthier but at the same time delicious alternative — and that’s when the idea of “Zollipops” was born.
This young girl approached her dentist to gather more information on which healthy ingredients should be included to make a lollipop that would be good for children’s teeth. Alina found out about Xylitol and Erythritol were seemed to be promising: Xylitol, she learned, remineralizes teeth and reduces the acid in the mouth that is produced after eating something; acid breaks down tooth enamel. Erythritol raises the pH in the mouth and “has even more beneficial dental properties than Xylitol,” says Morse.
When the first job was done, Alina started to deal with financial questions — where to get her first investment? And here is where her family came to help — she got $7,500 from her grandparents as an investment for her startup expenses. With this money she bought Stevia packets, which is a sugar substitute, also already mentioned Xylitol and Erythritol as well as natural juice colorings.
After purchasing all needed ingredients, she started to experiment: She mixed everything up and poured the liquid into molds she had purchased and ended up with burnt liquid the first time. So she continued testing, trying different proportions. Her experiments demonstrated the need for something to make the ingredients thicker. Isomalt, she discovered, did that. What is most important, Alina received a huge support from her family and friends during her experimenting process — her father helped her to do research and her friends tasted healthy lollipops and shared their opinions about flavors and preferences.
When a young innovator was totally sure about her discovered formula, she reached out two different candy manufacturers and conducted a total of 15 trials. Eventually, after 12 months, a girl found a manufacturer which helped to perfect lollipop-making process.
By time Alina’s business got very successful — “Zollipops” started to be produced internationally: Leveraging Zollipops’ success at Whole Foods, which started to sell these lollipops, Morse and her dad have pitched and won orders from Amazon, HEB, Meijer, Big Y, Jet, some dentists’ offices, U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force exchanges on bases, and recently won a contract with Toys R Us. So what does it all mean? Obviously, that means that the world was in a big need of this kind of sweets and Alina has now revolutionised candies market. Another proof of it — Zollipops are the second best-selling lollipop on Amazon, despite also being the most expensive; bags of 25 retail for $5.99. “Parents will spend money to give their kids a healthy option,” says Tom Morse.
Right now „Zollipop“ is being further developed and Alina is sure about its future success. Even more, the part of their profit, 10 percent of all sales, goes to support oral health education in schools and qualified organizations — and that makes „Zollipop“ even more special. This girl is very serious about changing the world of children and says that „a smile will have everlasting powers. It is the first thing that people see, so it is important to protect your smile!“