While pregnant with her first child, Chloe’s Co-Founder Chloe Epstein set out to find a healthy treat to satisfy her intense sweet tooth. That led to the founding of the beloved line of fruit pops, which has expanded to include kids licensed pops, dairy-free dark chocolate dipped pops and Oatmilk Pops, which are sold in over 10,000 grocery stores nationwide.
Chloe’s is releasing a trio of delicious new Oatmilk Pop flavors – Brownie Batter, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Cookies & Cream – just in time to keep us cool throughout the summer season.
We caught up with Epstein, who spends summers in the Hamptons, about the latest Chloe’s offerings, flavor inspiration, the Hamptons, and more.
What was the inspiration behind the trio of new frozen treats?
CE: The inspiration behind the latest Oatmilk Pop trio is similar to the inspiration behind Chloe’s. It’s simple – I have a major sweet tooth and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and I want to create treats that will satisfy a sweet craving with better-for-you, non-artificial options and ingredients. After years of solidifying our brand as the delicious, better-for-you, non-dairy fruit pop, we wanted to continue responding to consumer preferences and dietary needs. Consumers want to indulge and feel good about it at the same time. Our original Oatmilk Pops (Mint Chip, Salted Caramel and Raspberry Chip) launched last year and were enthusiastically received. With oat milk continuing to surge in popularity, we were excited to lean further into this trend and offer even more decadent varieties for our consumers.
What makes oat milk pops stand out?
CE: Our Oatmilk Pops were the first to hit the market last year at the start of COVID – so both of those things certainly stand out to us! When looking to add a non-dairy base to our line of offerings, oat milk was the perfect choice. It was the best vehicle for us to go creamier and more decadent but still remain true to our commitment to better-for you ingredients and delicious taste. Oat milk offers a rich, creamy profile without an overwhelming flavor that you find in other non-dairy alternatives such as coconut milk and almond milk. We were also excited because no one had done it before! We saw an opportunity to disrupt the non-dairy frozen novelty category and be a true industry leader. Our new Oatmilk varieties, Brownie Batter, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Cookies & Cream, feature mindful ingredients that make them an indulgence you can feel great about feeding your whole family- multiple times a day!
What is your process for coming up with new flavors?
CE: My kids like to say they inspire flavor innovation, and they are definitely a big part of the process, but our evolution thus far has felt instinctive and based on what we foresee as being lasting trends in the food industry. We started with just fruit and developed an extensive and comprehensive line of fruit pops. We covered tropical, berry, and citrus – there are always fruits that sound great but don’t necessarily work for us in adhering to our limited ingredient panel. We then moved into dipping our pops in dairy-free dark chocolate as we saw that consumers were looking for more decadent options that still kept it simple and clean. Once we agreed that we were ready to go even more indulgent and add a base to our pops, we turned to oat milk. Oat milk was just emerging on the scene in small coffee shops and we believed that it would be more mainstream by the time we were ready to introduce our pops. We were right, oat milk sales skyrocketed in 2019 and the craze continues to surge. Identifying the flavor profiles for our newest oat milk varieties was a long, laborious, delicious process and our first time working with indulgent ingredients like cookies and brownies. We experimented with many combinations that we left on the table and hope to return to for future line extensions.
Chloe’s also recently launched its first No Sugar Added Strawberry Pop. Tell us a little bit about that.
CE: Yes! One core value of ours is to offer delicious options that everyone can enjoy: those with food sensitivities, allergies, and various dietary restrictions. Our core fruit pops are made with three simple ingredients fruit, water, and cane sugar and include no dairy, gluten or anything artificial thus working toward that mission. After introducing pop iterations for kids and more decadent options, we wanted to address those who are looking to limit sugar intake and create a pop that is still refreshing and delicious without any added sugar. What makes our No Sugar Added (NSA) Pop so unique is that we don’t use any artificial sweeteners. Instead, our pop is sweetened naturally using the fruit itself, monk fruit, and allulose. Allulose is a simple sugar naturally found in foods like figs and raisins, so it doesn’t raise blood sugars like regular sugar may. In addition to avoiding artificial ingredients, we avoid an aftertaste that you may find in other artificially sweetened products. Plus, it’s only 40 calories!
Can we expect any new varieties this summer?
CE: We just launched four new pop varieties (our three Oatmilks and our NSA), which should be widely available for summer. FreshDirect has one of the widest selections of our pops and they deliver to the Hamptons, so you can always stock up on all our new pops there. King Kullen also carries our newest innovation and IGA in East Hampton and Montauk carry many of our other skus. We hope this summer will bring many opportunities for Chloe’s to “pop” up and delight Hamptonites at events, gatherings and other unexpected places.
Speaking of summer, you’ll be spending the season in the Hamptons. What are some of your favorite things to do when on the East End and spots you have to visit?
CE: I am counting the minutes until summer and my big return to the Hamptons. I have had so little time to plan for summer but I do daydream about getting back to a good sweat at Tracy Anderson, walking Gibson Beach, bike riding, hitting the farm stands like Serene Green, shopping in Sag Harbor, and making dreamy excursions to Montauk for Crow’s Nest and Duryea’s. Last summer was filled with drive bys, car parades and limited gatherings – so I have no doubt we will make up for it this summer. I am looking forward to bringing back some of the missed trips to Vine Street and Sunset Beach on Shelter Island and boat outings to Case’s Place.
How do you incorporate wellness into your daily routine?
CE: It is really a question of how to fit everything in around my workout. I have a tough time starting my day without a good sweat sesh. It’s what keeps me sane, energized, happy and productive. Once the kids are situated (and that took on very different meaning this past year) I move to my workout. I have also been increasingly good about drinking water throughout the day and wearing sunscreen, which were both goals of mine for the new year.
For more information, visit www.chloesfruit.com.