Branded Program Continues to Help Minnesota Supplier Expand Export Sales and Brand Awareness

Participating in Food Export-Midwest's Branded Program since 2016 has helped this Minneapolis, Minnesota supplier gain new export markets.

Since 2016, Food Export-Midwest’s Market Access Program-funded Branded Program has helped Elk Riber, Minnesota-based Jonny Pops LLC grow its export sales through cost reimbursement on its international product promotions. The Branded Program, a cost reimbursement program that helps U.S. suppliers expand their export sales and markets, helped Jonny Pops expand brand awareness in Mexico, Taiwan, and China in 2023.  Samantha Kookogey, Director, Strategy & IT at Jonny Pops shared, “The Branded Program is such a wonderful program and we are so appreciative for how it has truly helped us expand our international presence and sales!” 

Jonny Pops used its allocated funding last year to promote its frozen novelties with in-store demonstrations, ship product samples to potential buyers, create a coupon promotion, and make packaging and label modifications. Program participation helped Jonny Pops gain $397,000 in sales to Mexico, Taiwan, and China, with projected sales of $525,000 over the next twelve months. The company has newly gained 17 foreign buyer contacts and 4 established distributorships.  

2023 was the third year in a row the Minnesota supplier reported a sales increase due to its participation in the Branded Program. In 2021, Jonny Pops participated in the program to gain brand awareness for their frozen novelties in China. The company used its allocated Branded Program funds to ship product samples to prospective buyers. Those efforts led the company to report significant sales to China with projected continued sales. That sale to China marked a first-time sale to the market for the Minnesota supplier. With program participation in 2022, Jonny Pops also reported substantial sales growth in Australia, gaining $140,000 in sales in this international market. The supplier’s growth through Branded Program participation proves that the Market Access Program is critical in developing export growth for medium-sized U.S. suppliers.  

JonnyPops was founded in a St. Olaf College dorm room and sold its first pops at Twin Cities farmers’ markets and local cafes in 2012. Today, JonnyPops products have been sold in major retailers across 50 states and internationally since 2016. On a mission to create a “Better Pop for a Better World,” JonnyPops are made with simple ingredients. Each stick includes an inspiring message, placing kindness at the center of everything they do, a hallmark of the Jonny Pops brand. 

Food Export–Midwest and Food Export–Northeast use funding from the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) and the Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase their exports of food and agricultural products. As these exports increase, these small businesses are creating jobs and improving the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with their member state departments of agriculture and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. They offer a wide range of programs and services that help boost America’s agricultural exports. 


5 Year Program Participant

Over 5 Years of Program Participation

Branded Program Success

Branded Program Success


Market Access Program (MAP) Fund Utilization

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Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in the Food Export–Midwest and Food Export–Northeast’s programs. As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorship, expanding their production facilities,
and hiring additional employees. Read the Success Stories to learn more!

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