Growing Up in the Candy Biz: Alina Morse, Founder and CEO of Zolli Candy
Alina Morse, Founder & CEO, Zolli Candy
You could say that Alina Morse grew up in the candy business – and at ECRM sessions. She’s the 15-year-old Founder & CEO of Zolli Candy, a company that makes sugar-free candy that is actually good for your teeth, and has been participating in ECRM Candy sessions since the company launched five years ago.
And she’s the real deal. Each year we’ve seen her meeting with buyers, networking with other participants, and getting business done. A lot of business. Indeed, Zolli Candy is one of the fastest-growing companies in the sugar-free segment with a three-year growth rate that’s just under 700 percent, and is in 25,000 stores worldwide – with many of these retail relationships having originated in their sharply-set up meeting rooms at ECRM sessions. (ECRM hosts five Candy Planning sessions each year, and its Halloween Candy Virtual Session will be held in December.)
The origin of Zolli Candy occurred during a trip to the bank Morse made with her father several years ago. “The bank teller offered me a lollipop, and my dad told me that I shouldn’t have candy because it was bad for my teeth,” she says. “So I asked him, why can’t we make a healthy lollipop that’s actually good for my teeth?”
After two years of research, plant trials and lots of taste-testing, Zolli Candy was born. The first product was Zolli Pops, which were lollipops that used Erythritol and other natural ingredients that actually help to clean teeth as they are consumed. They then used the same technology to expand into Zolli Drops, Zaffi Taffy and Zolli Caramels, and will soon be releasing peanut butter cups and an an array of tropical flavors.
The timing of the launch probably couldn’t have been better, with the wellness trend becoming increasingly popular over the past decade, particularly among younger generations. “Healthier, free-from foods have been trending for the past eight to 10 years, and we see our main consumer being the Millennial mom,” says Morse. “Zolli Candy is diabetic-friendly, and fits into the and keto diet, which is a very prominent lifestyle in that age group.”