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Otter Pops are a brand of ice-pops—a packaged, frozen dessert—sold in the United States. The product consists of a clear plastic tube filled with a fruit-flavored liquid. Some varieties claim to contain 100% fruit juice. Otter Pops are a frozen treat, but stores generally sell them at room temperature and the consumer puts them in the freezer.
National Pax introduced Otter Pops in 1970, in competition with Jel Sert's similar product, Fla-Vor-Ice. In 1996, Jel Sert acquired the rights to Otter Pops as well. During the 2000s, Jel Sert modified the Otter Pops recipe to add more fruit juice. The new formula has three grams of sugar and 15 calories per one-ounce serving. Current Otter Pops contain 40 calories per 2 oz. serving (one pop). The company's manufacturing facilities are in West Chicago, Illinois. Otter Pops come in 1-, 2- and 5.5-ounce serving sizes. They also come in 6 flavors, each named after a different character:
- Blue (blue raspberry): Louie-Bloo Raspberry
- Pink (tropical punch): Poncho Punch (replaced Rip Van Lemon)
- Yellow (lemon): Rip Van Lemon (discontinued in the late 1970s)
- Green (lemon-lime): Sir Isaac Lime
- Red (strawberry): Strawberry Short Kook
- Purple (grape): Alexander the Grape
- Orange (orange): Little Orphan Orange
Sir Isaac Lime protest
In 1995, National Pax had planned to replace the "Sir Isaac Lime" flavor with "Scarlett O'Cherry", until a group of Orange County, California fourth-graders created a petition in opposition and picketed the company's headquarters in early 1996. The crusade also included an e-mail campaign, in which a Stanford University professor reportedly accused the company of "Otter-cide". After meeting with the children, company executives relented and retained the Sir Isaac Lime flavor.
Over the generations, other uses of Otter Pops have been devised and shared in the US. They can be used as a colorful substitute for ice in a punch bowl. They can also be used to flavor mixed drinks.