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Industry Innovators 2024: Allison Ellsworth

The co-founder and chief brand officer of poppi wants to create disruptive waves within the creative space, content sharing, and experience for her brand's consumers.

To launch its new flavor back in January, prebiotic soda brand poppi hosted a futuristic pop-up on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. It was 'a future-forward, poppi-fied approach to the classic convenience store experience,' says Ellsworth.
To launch its new flavor back in January, prebiotic soda brand poppi hosted a futuristic pop-up on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. It was "a future-forward, poppi-fied approach to the classic convenience store experience," says Ellsworth.
Photo: Courtesy of poppi

Allison EllsworthAllison EllsworthPhoto: Courtesy of poppiAllison Ellsworth is the co-founder and chief brand officer of prebiotic soda brand poppi. She's based in Austin, Texas. 

How she got her start: "In my previous career, I was constantly on the road, and it took a toll on my health. After learning about the health benefits, I started drinking apple cider vinegar, but I hated the taste. So, I formulated a soda with apple cider vinegar in my home kitchen and began selling it at our local farmers market. After getting a deal on Shark Tank and investment from Rohan Oza, poppi started to grow—quickly! We launched in March of 2020, at the start of the pandemic, so I turned to social media, specifically TikTok, to build an authentic community. I have continued to lead brand strategy and innovation, including poppi’s dynamic, creative, and fun events that seamlessly bring poppi’s ethos to life!"

What innovation means to her: "To me, innovation is taking risks, trying new things, being creative and curious, and saying yes to new opportunities. Innovation is incredibly important to me. It’s what drove me to formulate poppi; pivot from my previous career; start building a community on TikTok before other brands were even on the platform; and create events that continue to surprise, inspire, and delight our community. I will always strive to maintain that sense of exploration and risk-taking that leads to innovation and success."

Where she finds inspiration: "I draw inspiration from culture. I always say poppi moves at the speed of culture. We ask ourselves, 'What are the tent-pole moments that are culturally relevant, and how can we put the poppi spin on these moments?' Examples are what we did at a big music festival in the desert of California, and our poppi mart pop-up. I am also inspired by other female founders, and women doing amazing things in various industries. Poppi is 56% female and proud!"

Memorable moments: "In January 2024, poppi held an interactive pop-up event in Los Angeles called poppi mart, a future-forward, poppi-fied approach to the classic convenience store experience. Poppi’s loyal community of consumers and celebrity fans were out in full force (lined up around the block!) to try poppi’s latest flavor launch, Wildberry; purchase limited-edition poppi merch; experience the future of soda with futuristic details and experiences (including a hologram of me!); and further connect the brand and the poppi community."

Her vision for the future of experiential: "Disruptive, different, inclusive, and community-based. The biggest and best surprise of poppi mart was how far people traveled to experience poppi. We had people fly from Hawaii and Las Vegas, and a group of women drove in from Oregon! Our community is what makes poppi special. Also, as a content-first company, we strive to push boundaries. We always want to create disruptive waves within the creative space, content sharing, and experience for our consumers."

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This feature is sponsored by Gladiator Productions, a new kind of production company igniting magic in the arena of live events, entertainment, and experience. We consistently partner with our clients by providing high-touch service through every step of the production process. 

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