Cans of Classic Grape OLIPOP

5 min read

Classic Grape Flavor Deep Dive

Posted Jul 22, 2021 Updated Apr 15, 2024

Meet Classic Grape

We gave grapes an upgrade. Made from real concord grape juice with a hint of lime to create the perfect blend of sweet and tart, our Classic Grape is the nostalgic soda flavor you know and love—all grown up.

Classic Grape Inspiration Story

There’s something extra special about Classic Grape… this flavor came to fruition thanks to overwhelming requests from OLIPOP nation. So when developing the recipe, we knew that it had to stack up to the nostalgic flavor you were all longing for. But, of course, we still gave it our OLIPOP touch.

In addition to the usual OLIPOP benefit of adding 9 grams of gut health-supporting fiber to each can, there was one thing we wanted to be extra mindful of with this flavor. Since Grape Soda is traditionally one of the most unhealthy sodas you can drink, it was important to us that we delivered a recipe as delicious as it was good for you. This is why our Classic Grape contains 4 grams of sugar and just 45 calories.

Classic Grape OLIPOP

Traditional Grape Soda vs. OLIPOP Classic Grape

How is it that your average grape soda is so unhealthy? Here's a quick breakdown:

Unnamed Grape Soda #1:

Made with artificial sweetening agents, high fructose corn syrup, chemical additives, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, artificial colorings, red 40, and blue 1, this soda lacks any health-supporting ingredients. While it is on the lower end of calories out of the countless grape soda options at 170 calories, it still has 44 grams of sugar— that’s the equivalent of 10½ teaspoons!

Unnamed Grape Soda #2:

Like soda #1, this brand’s soda also has zero health benefits as it's made with the same ingredients as the latter but with two additional natural and artificial flavors. It also contains the same 170 calories per can and 44 grams of sugar.

Added Sugars in Traditional Grape Soda

If you're wondering, 44 grams of sugar is a lot of sugar to consume in one drink. In fact, the CDC advises that adults keep added sugars to no more than 10% of total daily calories. For a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s 50 grams of added sugar per day. That means drinking a single 12-ounce can of grape soda satisfies 88% of the recommended daily sugar limit. And remember, that 50-gram number is just a limit — not a recommendation.

At the same time, the American Heart Association recommends a maximum of just 25.1 grams of added sugar a day for women and 37.7 grams for men. In just one can, both unnamed grape sodas above provide more added sugar than what the CDC and AMA advise you should consume in a day.

The unhealthy ingredients and high sugar content are a problem on multiple levels: the obvious being the effects of consuming that much sugar in a single drink. As a category, sugary beverages, like soda, are the most significant contributor of calories and added sugar in the U.S. diet. [1] The Centers for Disease Control links soda consumption with a lengthy list of health problems, including type 2 diabetes, gout, asthma, and heart, kidney, and fatty liver disease. [2]

While sugar naturally occurs in all foods composed of carbohydrates, like fruits (even grapes!), vegetables, grains, and dairy, these naturally occurring sugars are not a concern. These sugars come with other health benefits, such as fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Considering that your natural sources of sugar also contain some fat, fiber, or protein, your body digests these natural and whole foods gradually. And the sugar in them provides an ongoing supply of energy to your cells. [3] The sugar in soda, on the other hand, is added sugar. When consumed in the high amounts found in soda, this concentrated source of sugar overwhelms our internal organs, sending our pancreas and liver into overdrive. Any excess sugar your body doesn’t use for energy converts into fat.

Traditional Grape Soda and Food Deserts

The unhealthy ingredients and high sugar content are a problem in sodas like traditional grape soda because of their potential health effects. But they are also an issue because of those most likely to consume the drinks: lower-income neighborhoods. [4] Known as a food desert, the United States has many regions where people have limited access to healthful and affordable food. A food desert occurs for various reasons, such as having a low income or having to travel farther to find healthy food options. [5]

According to the USDA, neighborhoods with low-income minority ethnic groups are the most affected by food deserts. These neighborhoods have insufficient access to supermarkets compared with predominantly wealthier white neighborhoods. And even when convenience stores do have healthy foods available, they are frequently too expensive for low-income people to afford. Therefore, people in food deserts often rely on fast food and food retailers who offer affordable yet limited food options. [5]

Research suggests this lack of healthy foods and easy access to unhealthy foods may correlate with inadequate diets high in sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Food deserts are associated with a higher incidence of obesity, increased prevalence of diabetes, and other weight-related conditions, which predominantly affect children. [5]

Where to Purchase Classic Grape

Therefore, when we created Classic Grape, we realized making a traditionally unhealthy and sugary drink healthier was not enough. That's why we partnered with inspiring co-ops in our backyard to highlight how when we bunch together like grapes, we strengthen and nourish the community.

Located in our Oakland hometown, we partnered with Mandela’s and The DEEP, two co-ops dedicated to nourishing and supporting neighborhoods with healthy food, wellness resources, and collective ownership, prioritizing the well-being of BIPOC. At the same time, the DEEP is a worker-owned grocery cooperative dedicated to restoring East Oakland’s community with fresh organic produce, community education, and cooperative economics, prioritizing the well-being of Black and Brown people.

Additionally, we donated 10% of sales of Classic Grape during our launch to these co-ops. As strong supporters of co-ops, we love that every time you support your local co-op, you make a difference in the future of food and our communities. To find a store near you selling Classic Grape, use this nifty tool that lets you search by location. And don't worry if we're not currently near you, you can also buy Classic Grape online right here


  1. “Sugary Drinks,” The Nutrition Source, September 4, 2013,
  2. Vani Hari, Feeding You Lies: How to Unravel the Food Industry’s Playbook and Reclaim Your Health (Hay House Inc, 2019).
  3. Harvard Health Publishing, “The Sweet Danger of Sugar,” Harvard Health, accessed May 8, 2021,
  4. Malik VS, Hu FB. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Cardiometabolic health: An Update of the Evidence Nutrients 2019; 11(8): 1840.
  5. Farrigan, P. D., Michele Ver Ploeg, and Tracey. (n.d.). Characteristics and influential factors of food deserts.
Cheat Sheet
  • Grape Soda is traditionally one of the most unhealthy sodas you can drink. 
  • It was important to us that we delivered a recipe as delicious as it was good for you, which is why our Classic Grape contains 4 grams of sugar and just 45 calories.
We make refreshing emails, too.

Add some pop to your inbox when you sign up to receive OLIPOP Digest emails!