We Tried Olipop Minions Soda. Here's How It Went.

On July 1st, the film "Minions: The Rise of Gru" hits theaters. This prequel tells the story of how your 6-year-old nephew's favorite supervillain and his yellow, Tic Tac-shaped henchmen came to be. The movie has inspired some interesting tie-ins, most notably on the soundtrack, which features an unlikely collaboration between Supremes queen Diana Ross and indie darling Tame Impala (via Pitchfork).

The pairing of a '70s diva and a 21st-century alt boy isn't the only left-field combination inspired by the new Minions flick. On June 6, the better-for-you soda company Olipop released a new limited-time-only Minions-branded soft drink. What flavor is it? Banana Cream, of course. Not only are the Minions banana yellow, but according to a press release shared with Mashed, bananas are their favorite food.

This product combines several things that we're not entirely sure go together: health and soda, Minions and beverages, and banana flavor and anything. However, everything the Minions touch seems to turn to gold (they've appeared in five films so far, per IMDb), so maybe this soda can defy the odds and taste good. Either way, we knew we had to try it.

What's in Olipop X Minions Banana Cream soda?

The first ingredient in this drink is plain old carbonated water. The second, which the company calls Olismart, is actually a blend of eight different plant ingredients and extracts: cassava root, chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, nopal cactus, calendula flower, kudzu root, marshmallow root, and slippery elm bark. These ingredients add prebiotics, fiber, and other nutrients to the drink. The company claims that this blend of botanicals makes Olipop beneficial for your digestion and gut health. You can read more about each ingredient and its purported benefits on the company's site. We'll talk more about prebiotics in the nutrition section of this review.

After Olismart, the next ingredient is banana puree. This is reassuring, because fake banana flavor is nasty (unless you're the type of person who stans banana Laffy Taffy). After that is cassava root syrup, also known as tapioca syrup. Per Nutritional Outlook, cassava syrup is a liquid sweetener that doesn't have any fructose in it. Olipop also has stevia in it, so the drink's sweetness comes from a combination of banana puree, cassava syrup, and stevia. The last ingredients are flavorings like vanilla, lemon juice, and Himalayan pink salt.

Where can you buy the Olipop X Minions Banana Cream soda?

We're writing this article before the official release date, but starting on June 6, this product will be available for purchase on Olipop's website. In a press release, the company describes the product as a limited-edition flavor, but it's not clear how long it will be available. Olipop is only making a certain amount of it, so if you want to try it, you should probably buy it earlier rather than later.

If you'd rather just press a button on your phone and get Minions soda delivered to your door instantly, on June 16, it will also become available in certain markets from the delivery app GoPuff. The press release doesn't say specifically what those markets will be, but you can find a list of the cities that GoPuff operates in on the company's website. There's no word on whether your GoPuff driver will dress up in a Minions costume for the occasion, but we can dream.

How does this compare to other banana sodas and Olipop products?

The Olipop X Minions Banana Cream soda is perhaps the strangest product the company has put out. Olipop's other offerings lean toward classic soda flavor profiles like Cola, Root Beer, Orange Cream, and Grape. Olipop does make some other unique flavors, like Strawberry Vanilla and Ginger Lemon, but nothing else is as quirky as the Banana Cream. All of the brand's sodas contain the Olismart prebiotic and fiber blend. At 50 calories per can, the Banana Cream flavor is heavier than many of Olipop's other flavors, most of which clock in at either 35 or 45 calories. The only other 50-calorie flavor is Orange Cream.

While banana soda isn't especially common in the U.S., it's not unheard of. Many other examples seem to come from tropical regions, like Jamaican Choice Banana soda, Solo Banana soda, and Tropical Banana soda. Fanta also makes a banana flavor in some markets (via Sodasbymk). However, none of these drinks appear to be marketing themselves as healthy in the way that Olipop is.

What are the nutrition facts?

Olipop Banana Cream soda has 50 calories in a 12-ounce can. It contains no fat and has 40 milligrams of sodium, or 2% of the recommended daily value. There are 16 grams of carbohydrates and a whopping 9 grams of fiber, almost a third of what you're supposed to consume in a day. It also has only 4 grams of added sugar, which is much less than a conventional soda; a 12-ounce can of Coke comes in at 39 grams of added sugar (via Coca-Cola). Since Olipop is made with cassava syrup, it's a good option for those who want to avoid high fructose corn syrup. More research is needed on the health effects of stevia, but at least it doesn't contain empty calories as sugar does.

As for the prebiotic ingredients, Olipop has an explainer about how they're supposed to work. The gist is that probiotic bacteria (the beneficial gut bacteria) like eating prebiotic foods. If you eat more prebiotics, your gut will produce more probiotics, leading to better digestive health. Whether or not you believe Olipop's health claims is up to you, though the brand is recommended by Registered Dietitian Laura Manaker, who wrote a piece in Eat This, Not That! praising the brand's beverages for their prebiotic ingredients and overall fiber content.

How does Olipop X Minions Banana Cream soda taste?

The best part about this drink is that it actually tastes like real bananas. The flavor of the banana puree sings clear and true in every sip, and it's not overly sweet or artificial tasting like so many other banana products are. You also get a hint of vanilla, which is a nice complement to the fruit. We enjoyed this soda a lot more than we were expecting to. If you're into bananas, you might like this soda.

However, there were certain aspects of this drink that took some getting used to. For one, it has a much thicker texture than a normal soda. The thickness is probably from the Olismart and the banana puree. When we poured this into a glass, a noticeable layer of (for lack of a better term) sludge collected in the bottom. The texture wasn't weird enough to put us off the drink, but it wasn't what we were expecting.

Also, this soda has a noticeable aftertaste. For us, stevia tends to have a slightly bitter flavor, and we could detect that in the drink. There was also a mildly herbal or vegetal flavor that emerged at the end of every sip that we think might have come from the Olismart. On the whole, this drink wasn't bad, but it was definitely weird. If you're into sampling strange drinks, this is one to seek out.