The 13-Year-Old 'Clean Teeth' Lollipop Inventor Who's Outselling Tootsie, Dum Dums, and Blow Pop on Amazon

Zolli Candy
Zolli Candy

We’re still waiting for someone to invent pizza that helps you lose weight, but thanks to one entrepreneurial eighth grader, we now have lollipops that help keep our teeth clean. Alina Morse’s sugar-free Zollipops are made with the sweeteners erythritol and xylitol, which help reduce acidity in your mouth and have been found to protect against cavities.

The now-13-year-old Morse launched Zolli Candy when she was just 9 after an eye-opening visit to the bank with her father. He urged her to think twice about taking one of the free suckers up for grabs there, which led her to wonder why sugar is so bad for your health. After doing a little investigating, she decided to create a healthier candy—and now, consumers are eating it up.

Zolli sells lollipops, drops, and taffy in a variety of flavors, all made with the cavity-fighting erythritol and xylitol. For people with different food restrictions or allergies, Morse's candies cover all the bases and are essentially everyone-approved. They’re gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, organic, kosher, and they contain only plant-based dyes and natural flavors.

The taste isn’t bad either, judging by their popularity. Zollipops recently became the top-selling lollipops on Amazon (both in the sugar and sugar-free categories), beating out Tootsie, Dum Dums, Blow Pop, and other major candy companies. Some parents have posted reviews saying that the suckers have helped their toothbrush-resistant tots keep their teeth clean.

Last September, Morse became the youngest person to ever appear on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine as part of a feature about young millionaires.

“Consumers are realizing there is way too much sugar in their diets but we still want to have treats,” Morse said in a statement. “And with Zolli Candy, we are giving consumers what they want: guilt-free treats."

You can find her candies in pop-up displays at various Kroger outlets, as well as Walmart and Whole Foods stores. If you prefer to buy online, a 25-count bag of assorted lollipops goes for less than $6 on Amazon.

Why You Shouldn't Buy Your Cereal at Costco

iStock.com/RapidEye
iStock.com/RapidEye

Scoring deals at Costco is an art. Smart shoppers know which price tag codes to look for and which delivery deals to take advantage of at the bulk discount store. But when it comes to navigating the food section, there are some tips even longtime members may not know about. A big one concerns brand-name breakfast cereal: When shopping for groceries at Costco, you should leave the cereal boxes out of your cart if you want to save money, according to Yahoo! Finance.

It doesn't make sense to buy perishable items in bulk, but even products with a slightly longer expiration date, like cereal, can end up costing you in the long run if you stock up on them at Costco. The cereal at Costco costs about $0.17 per ounce, which is comparable to the cereal prices you'd find at regular grocery stores on most days. But to reap the most savings possible, you need to visit the supermarket on days when certain cereal brands go on sale.

During different times of the week—usually weekends—many grocery stores will pick a popular cereal brand, like Kellogg's or General Mills, to sell at a lower price. At their cheapest, brand-name cereals can be purchased for $0.13 cents per ounce on sale days, or $1.50 for an 11-ounce box.

While you may be better off buying your boxed breakfast staples at the nearest grocery store, there are still plenty of reasons to shop at Costco. To many loyalists, their $1.50 hot dog and soda combo alone is worth a special trip. The store's addictive pizza slices (which are perfectly sauced by a pie-making robot) and dirt-cheap and delicious rotisserie chickens are yet two more reasons. Just be prepared to show your receipt when you're all done (and don't for a second believe it's because the employees think you might have pocketed something). 

[h/t Yahoo! Finance]

A Shrine to Brine: The Mysterious Case of Missouri's Highway Pickle Jar

iStock.com/MorePixels
iStock.com/MorePixels

No one knows how it started. No one knows who was responsible. Some may even have dismissed it as an aberration, a glitch in the scenery that would soon be corrected. But eventually, drivers in and around Des Peres, Missouri who took a highway off-ramp connecting I-270 North to Manchester Road began to notice that a jar of pickles was sitting on a dividing barrier on the ramp. And it wasn’t going anywhere.

Since 2012, the pickle jar has confounded drivers and internet sleuths alike, according to Atlas Obscura. Some have speculated that someone was trying to send a secret message or share a private joke. Perhaps someone pulling off to the side due to car trouble felt the need to place the brine-filled jar on the concrete wall and then forgot about it. Maybe someone thought it would be a kind of three-dimensional graffiti, incongruous amid the bustling traffic. Maybe it’s an indictment of commerce.

Whatever the case, once the pickles appeared, advocates refused to let them go. Jars that end up toppled over or otherwise damaged are replaced. Sometimes they reappear in protective Tupperware or with a holiday-themed bow. Sightings are photographed for posterity and posted on a Facebook fan page devoted to the jar, which currently has over 4200 members and has morphed from a place to theorize about the mysterious jar's origins to a place where people swap pickle-related recipes and stories.

There are dry spells—no one has posted of a pickle sighting in several months—but followers remain optimistic the jar will continue to remain a presence in Des Peres even if the motivation for placing them near the roadway remains as murky as the briny juice inside.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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