NEXTY Award winner GoodPop supports healthy people, planet

CEO Daniel Goetz uses business for good to improve children’s diets, reduce ocean plastics and support refugees. See how this dairy-free dessert brand does it.

Kelly Teal

April 15, 2024

5 Min Read
NEXTY Award winner GoodPop supports healthy people, planet

Sometimes a frozen dessert brings more than a momentary rush of pleasure. Sometimes, it’s a fruit-filled stick of delight that, behind the scenes, is removing plastic from the oceans, refusing to use GMOs, ensuring the people harvesting nature’s bounty are treated well, offering free access to registered dietitians and, overall, working to move the world away from dangerous high-fructose corn syrup.

In the case of GoodPop, which won the 2024 NEXTY Award for Best New Frozen Dessert for its Neapolitan Pops, that’s all true. And with the addition of fruit-flavored sparkling water to GoodPop’s lineup, CEO Daniel Goetz continues to keep the company trained on its mission: supplying treats sweetened with real fruit that both taste good and do good.

Like GoodPop’s other frozen desserts, Neapolitan Pops deliver a cleaned-up version of its traditional counterpart. It features gluten-free oat milk for creaminess, fair-trade cane sugar for a little extra sweetness and organic ingredients where possible.

GoodPopCEO Daniel Goetz keeps his team focused on the brand's mission.

“Neapolitan ice cream is a classic in the U.S.,” says Goetz. “For us, ‘cleaned up’ would be plant-based, organic ingredients, lower sugar, lower calorie, lower fat, non-GMO. And it has to taste amazing. And I think we got all those things covered with this one.”

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For his part, Goetz feels a bit awed to have won a NEXTY Award in March.

“There are some really amazing and super-innovative companies that were finalists for this category,” he says. “So I was thinking, why did we win? I love that we did, and I do think it's just the simplicity of it and nostalgia of it.”

Now, he adds, GoodPop can use the recognition as an outright declaration to consumers that “fhis company is putting out some great products. It does generate more awareness for our brand, which I think will only create more momentum for everything else that we're trying to do with our products—not just make great product but also have great impact.”


Beyond the freezers

To be sure, GoodPop remains dedicated to doing more than concocting tasty treats. The company actively puts money and effort into the causes it promotes, such as teaming with 4ocean to reduce plastic waste. For every pound of plastic GoodPop must use to package its products, 4ocean, a Certified B Corp, removes a pound of plastic from the oceans. 4ocean pays fishermen in places including Bali and Guatemala full-time wages and healthcare benefits to pull plastic and trash from the waters.

“I felt like enough was enough with waiting on the plastics industry to catch up to what we need,” Goetz says, referring to biomaterials that should replace the synthetics that kill marine life. “So, we just decided that for every piece of plastic that GoodPop has to put out on the market, we are going to fund 4ocean and pull out the equivalent.”

For last year and this year, that will amount to 500,000 pounds, Goetz says.

In addition, GoodPop continues to eschew GMO ingredients, a decision it made back in 2011. From there it made sense to only team with suppliers that treat harvesters fairly.

“I can't stand behind these industries, even if it's organic, if they're not allowing farmers to find a path out of poverty,” Goetz says. “I just couldn't do it. And so we did the same thing—we brought Fair Trade to our category. We're the first brand to do that. And we're really proud to be in a position where we find things that don't work for us [within the food system] and we go after and we try to make it better.”

As part of that, GoodPop continues to support UNSTUCK, a nonprofit that works with brands to create jobs for refugees. For Goetz, the mission has a personal tie. His wife comes from the same area in Columbia where GoodPop sources the mangoes for its Mango Junior Pop. The region also harbors a number of refugees from Venezuela. Through UNSTUCK, GoodPop met a processor committed to hiring refugees “the right way,” Goetz says.

The processor has increased revenue but, most importantly, offers work that has “allowed refugees to have a true home where they're able to support their families and grow out of that [refugee] status,” Goetz says. “And then it's a win for us because we get the best mangoes, I think, in the world, and feel great about where they come from, and it's a win for the consumers because they get to enjoy the fruits of all of that.”

More flavors, more doors to come

Amid all of that, GoodPop is expanding its flavors and distribution. The company just released the Junior Pop in strawberry and mango; both are available at Sprouts. Soon, consumers can look for GoodPop frozen desserts in several mainstream outlets.

In the meantime, GoodPop still claims the No. 1 slot for frozen novelty brands at Whole Foods, Goetz says. But moving into more conventional stores will give the company a higher profile and help it to reach people looking to affordably replace “sugar-water” treats, as Goetz puts it.

“We're not going to have that impact without being in those retailers,” he says. In 2023, GoodPop removed about 1 million pounds of added sugars from U.S. kids’ diets, Goetz says. And he’s looking to double that number in 2024. Part of achieving that will stem from the first 100 families who take advantage of GoodPop’s new offer: to connect people with a registered dietitian who will provide a free, 30-minute nutrition consultation.

“If you want to move the needle, you've got to get everyone at the table,” Goetz says.

Correction: GoodPops are not yet available at Kroger stores. The story was corrected on April 15, 2024.

About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years' experience as a journalist, editor and analyst in industries including technology and health care. She serves as principal of Kreativ Energy LLC. Follow her on LinkedIn at /kellyteal/

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