So much for chocolate bunnies and peanut butter eggs, the only candy at the White House's Easter Egg Roll will be Zollipops, a candy invented by a 7-year old girl from Wolverine Lake, Michigan. Alina Morse is now ten but came up with the idea for Zollipops when she wanted a candy that wouldn't decay her teeth. She said she researched other teeth-friendly candies on the market and "talked to her dental hygienist for some good ingredients," according to People magazine. The candy is made with xylitol and erythritol, which helps neutralize acid in the mouth and prevent tooth decay. So parents everywhere can no longer get out of handing over some hard candy because it's "bad for your teeth." I see what you did there, Alina, and it's genius.
Morse and her younger sister who came up with the name of the lollipops and taste tasted early batches of the candy, have been invited to Monday's Easter Egg Roll to serve the candy, but they were also invited last year as guests of first lady Michelle Obama. It's a double whammy of American ingenuity: healthy candy for kids that fits with the first lady's agenda to promote healthy eating and exercise and an example of the kind of innovation that President Obama has often lauded throughout his two terms as president.
Morse's business has really taken off since getting a $7,500 investment from her grandparents and a little help from her dad, Tom, to produce and market the candy. "Our business is doing really good right now," Alina told People magazine. "Our company sales were up 378 percent year over year and we expect to triple in our sales this year." Sales are so good, in fact, that they donate 10 percent of company profits to bringing oral health education to schools.
The pops are sugar-free, all-natural, and good for your teeth. Alina told The Washington Post last year that she's super proud of her achievement, "People thought suckers were just a sugary candy that kids have as a special treat once in a while." She continued, "If you believe in yourself and your business and most importantly people who believe in you, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.”
If you want to know what the White House Easter Egg Roll attendees will be passing around on Monday, you can get Zollipops on Amazon, at Whole Foods, and some regional markets, depending on where you are. Let's just hope no one lets the presidential pup, Bo, have a licker: the ingredients that make them good for cleaning kids' teeth can be deadly for dogs.