The British and French copy the Sicilian Polaretti. The boom in popsicles to freeze at home


The idea of liquid popsicles to be frozen at home, which made history in Italy with the Sicilian Polaretti, is being taken up in France and even in England. Supported by, among other things, European funding that survives Brexit (!). And it’s boom.

The British popsicle

British Pola’s popsicle is made from fresh fruit, mostly grown by the same producer or by neighboring farms, and is already marketed in its frozen state.

The startup ‘s goal now is to produce and distribute the product at room temperature, instead of freezing it. To simplify logistics and reduce the environmental impact of ‘frost chain’ transportation. Therefore, the challenge is to stabilize the product, without resorting to food additives.

The success of the Pola(retto) Brit , moreover, seems assured by the vertical growth of online food sales and home meals, including in the UK, following the lockdown from Covid-19. Thus, new consumption habits were established, which, as it turned out, tend to stabilize even in ‘phase 2’ of progressive return to normalcy.

Frozen Brexit as well?

Pola’s research is being carried out in conjunction with the Food Innovation Center on the Sutton Bonington campus at the University of Nottingham. Ove is developing a pasteurization system for the already packaged product (in compostable packaging ), aimed at increasing its durability without altering its flavor.

The initiative-including investment in packaging machinery-is part of the
Driving Research and Innovation.
, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with a deadline of January 2023.

Brexit is also frozen, then, as far as Brussels-funded research is concerned. The only question remains whether and to what extent the results of the project will be made available and can actually be enjoyed by all practitioners and research institutions in the EU.

The French popsicle

Already on the market even online, the French popsicle Granistick does not guarantee local sourcing of the raw material, but ensures in its ‘freezing sticks’ 25 percent fruit and the absence of coloring, preservatives or additives.

Awarded as Saveur de l’année 2020 (Flavor of the Year 2020), the popsicle is produced by Cocktails d’Hadrien. The company, by the way, had already launched a similar product aimed at adults in 2017. Cocktail-flavored slushies (mojito, piña colada, etc.), without coloring or preservatives.

In the beginning were the Polaroids

The idea of the liquid popsicle to freeze at home is, on closer inspection, Made in Italy. For at least 6 years, Dolfin’s Polaretti, pasteurized liquid popsicles (fruit and other flavors) without preservatives and artificial coloring, have been marketed in Italy.

New for summer 2020, communicates the Catania-based company founded in 1914, is the packaging of Polaretti fruit. Plastic packaging is replaced by a cardboard box with children’s toys.

Marta Strinati

Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".