Push Pops started as a simple cylindrical stick of hard candy encased in a plastic shell. The gimmick was that you could control the amount of candy you had by pushing the candy up from the bottom of the base. Since their introduction, the Push Pops brand has expanded to include variations like Push Pop ‘n Spray, Jumbo Push Pops, and Triple Power Push Pops.
Review of Push Pop 'n Spray
The Push Pop ‘n Spray is an attempt to update the classic Push Pop by adding an accompanying canister of sour liquid. The liquid comes packaged next to the pop in a spray pump bottle the same size as the candy. Whereas the pops themselves are all assertively (and sometimes unpleasantly) fruity, the sprays are mouth-puckeringly sour. I assume the sprays are flavored to correspond with the fruity pops, but it’s very hard to tell since the overwhelming flavor that registers is simply “sour.”
I first encountered the problem of how to use the spray. There were no directions on the package, so I tried a variety of methods. First I tried spraying the candy pop directly, then sucking on it, so I got a simultaneous hit of sweet and sour. This worked, but it was messy and my hand kept getting sprayed by accident. Next I tried spraying my tongue, then sucking on the pop, but I found the spray painfully sour on its own. Finally, I settled on a 2:1 ration of pop to spray, but even then, I didn’t really enjoy the experience.
I usually find Push Pops are a little boring on their own, so I commend the idea of enlivening the pops by adding a sour component, but I found the sour spray to be too concentrated and too confusing to be practical. I do think that kids will enjoy the packaging and the interactive element, and I know extra-sour flavors are very popular now, so it may just be a generational issue. I give this product 2 stars.
Review of Jumbo Push Pops
Jumbo Push Pops are nothing if not literal. The candy stick is about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, which is a substantial amount of sugar for one sitting. The packaging boasts of “pop-up action,” which effectively means that once you remove the cap, the entire candy stick pops up via an internal spring. It can be satisfying to eat the entire candy all at once, but it can also be messy and sticky, especially if you want to eat it over an extended period of time. Most of the fruit flavors are pleasantly benign, but I had a “twisted cotton candy/bubble gum” combination that was ghastly. The flavor was overwhelmingly, chemically sweet, and none of the people I asked could identify either of the flavors. Other than this misstep, however, the main appeal of the Jumbo Push Pop appears to be the size and the spring-loaded novelty packaging. I give Jumbo Push Pops 1.5 stars.
Review of Triple Power Push Pops
The Triple Power Push Pop has the best packaging out of all the Push Pop variations. This candy consists of a large plastic cylinder divided into three parts, each with a different flavor inside. Each flavor is controlled by a separate lever at the bottom, so the user can enjoy them individually, all together, or in different combinations.
My “twisted” Push Pop featured berry blast, rainbow sherbet and strawberry watermelon. I tried the candy before reading the labels, and I could identify 2 out 3 flavors just by taste—always a good sign in the nebulous world of fruity children’s candies. I really enjoyed the berry and the watermelon flavors. Both were fairly sweet, but they also had a slight tang to balance it out and were enjoyable fruity and smooth. I thought the sherbet was terrible and had a strong, artificial chemical taste. However, the genius of the Triple Power Push Pop is that I can enjoy the other two flavors without ever tasting the sherbet!
The packaging is a little large for the amount of candy you actually get, and it’s significantly harder to operate after you’ve sucked on the candies—they stick to the inside of the plastic container and require some thumb strength to get them back out. However, most of the flavors were great, and I think kids will love the interactivity. I give this product 3 stars.