Vegan ice cream brand, House of Pops, is is on a mission to spread happiness sourced from nature, one pop at a time
Tell us about your company
House of Pops offers 100% natural fruit pops, that are plant-based, allergen and plastic free, and free from refined sugar. We started back in 2018, my partner Marcela Sancho, and I, just the two of us selling our pops at the Ripe Market. Now we’re more than a team of 85 people. We service our pops through our kiosks, that you can find across the UAE, and online through our website and aggregators. We also service the top 4 and 5 star hotels across the UAE from Hilton to Zaabeel Saray, W Hotel and Caesars Palace and beyond, as well as restaurants, cafes, and gyms. House of Pops, and this is something we are incredibly proud of, is the only ice cream allowed to be sold in schools across Dubai. And finally, you can find the pops as well across Carrefour in the UAE.
You’ve always aimed to be sustainable – how important is that to you?
Super important, it’s one of the core values of the company and the brand. We genuinely strive to be as sustainable as possible. We use plastic-free packaging – instead of wrapping our pops in a plastic wrap (which is far cheaper), we wrap them in bio-PLA film that is compostable, made from corn starch. The uniforms you see at our stores, the T-shirts and aprons are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. We partner with recycling facilities in UAE to collect our recyclables from the factory to minimise the waste going to landfill. It’s really a mindset that’s deeply rooted in the company and one of the first questions we ask each other when we have an idea “is there a sustainable alternative?”
Do you think snacking in the region is changing?
Yes for sure! Aside from the fact that the snacking industry constantly changes, we see a serious shift towards healthy snacking. Here in the region, savory healthy snacking is sizeable – but when you look at the ice cream section, it’s all filled with sugar-heavy, preservative-heavy options. Consumers are willing to and have been investing in their health and wellness, with studies showing that 75% of UAE consumers have chosen a healthier alternative while shopping.
Which is the market’s favourite product?
Our Mighty Mango & Galactic Lime are the stars! We see kids love the Galactic Lime because of it’s color – which is great because we use a superfood to give the pop its striking color, and since all our ingredients are 100% natural parents don’t have to worry about their kids having a blue tongue all day.
Do you have plans for any more product lines?
There’s always something cooking at House of Pops, constant new news! We will always have limited edition lines and flavours based on the trends and seasons. But definitely stay tuned for the exciting plans we have – we have a fabulous range coming your way with new segments and concepts.
And can you tell us about your growth plans?
Right now we are focusing on two fronts: growing our current footprint and awareness in the UAE through innovations and brand building while expanding geographically in the region. We’ve already franchised in KSA and Bahrain and are exploring partners in neighbouring countries.
We’ve seen a few collabs with local and international brands – like Costa Coffee – are you planning any more?
We love collaborating with brands that share our values and ethos. We collaborate with different brands like SABA plant-based on exclusive ranges, but also through events. We’ve also done silent collaborations through our private labelling options – where we support other brands and develop their own ice lolly range. We have a fantastic team behind the scenes that’s very creative in developing recipes and different fusions, so we share that experience with partners seeking exciting ice creams under their own label. We are planning for a few more exciting collaborations later this year that have a mix of experimentation in flavours, segments, but also “crossovers”.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
My partner Marcela and I love to explore and travel, we are foodies! But I also am a very dedicated padel player and enjoy playing chess on weekends – these kinds of activities really feed my energy.
Where do you enjoy eating – and what’s your favourite treat or snack?
I’d be lying if I said I don’t snack on our range of pops! But jokes aside, I enjoy exploring new flavours and cuisines with my wife and partner Marcela. We enjoy ceviche and seafood quite a bit – but I like to treat myself to a nice bowlful of acai.
Are you engaged in the community – does House of Pops do any CSR work?
Yes we are! We seek partners throughout the year, most recently we partnered with the amazing Al Jalila Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness month. We developed a limited editions Pink Guava lolly and all proceeds from that pop were donated to the foundation in support of “breast friends” and cancer research.
We are also exploring partnering with environmental NGOs to drive our sustainability mission forward.
About House of Pops
House of Pops is on a mission to spread happiness sourced from nature, one pop at a time. Our all natural, five ingredient healthy snack pops are up to 94% fruit, handcrafted with love. Our products are 100% natural, following UAE consumer demand for healthier, tasty snacks and treats. Our brand is steeped in six value propositions – purity, wellness, sustainability, creativity, customisation and quality. Try one today and experience true happiness.