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Consumers continue to adopt a snacking culture by consuming snacks anywhere, anytime; popcorn included! Nearly half of Americans (47%) purchase salty snacks for snacking throughout the day and 35% are buying more than previous years due to consuming snacks as meal replacements. As the snacking culture grows, manufacturers are developing snack products for just about every occasion including movietime.
Of the 6,010 new snack products launched in North America between January 2010 and August 2014, 422 of them were popcorn products. 396 of them carried the microwavable claim and 355 carried the nonmicrowavable claim (pre-popped). Although popcorn only accounts for 7% of snack products, there was a 94% increase from 2010 to 2014, showing overall growth for this category. Consumers are concerned about the nutrition of snacks and place high importance on products with better-for-you attributes. The popcorn market has tapped into consumers’ demand for healthier options and brands are launching low-calorie, allnatural snacks that still offer factors of indulgence so consumers can snack guilt-free.
Consumers appear to be brand loyal when it comes to purchasing salty snacks. Less than one third (31%) agree that store brands are comparable to name brands in quality and taste.
Top 5 Popcorn Brands
1. Popcorn, Indiana
3. Orville Redenbaucher's Gourmet
4. Act II
5. Orville Redenbaucher's Pop Up Bowl
Between January 2010 and August 2014 there have been 396 product launches with the microwavable claim.
Global New Product Launches
NIGERIA: TNT FRUIT CHUTNEY FLAVORED MICROWAVE POPCORN
Described as a “perfect popping, great tasting, fresh, filling snack.” Kosher certified and retails in a 112g pack. (June 2014.)
SOUTH AFRICA: TOP OF THE POP BARBECUE FLAVORED MICROWAVE POPCORN
GMO-free and vegetarian. Retails in a single 200g pack. (April 2014.)
UK: POPZ WASABI FLAVORED MICROWAVE POPCORN
Gluten-free, wholegrain, high in fiber and free from trans fat. Retails in a box containing three 28g packs. (June 2014.)
INDIA: AMERICAN GARDEN HOT N’ SPICY POPCORN
Vegetarian, kosher certified and retails in a box containing three 91g packs. (March 2014.)
Microwave Popcorn in North America- Top Claims
Of the 422 popcorn products launched between January 2010 and August 2014, 67 of them carried the microwavable claim. Behind microwavable, kosher has been the leading claim, increasing 14% between 2010 and 2014. Other top claims include Ethical – Environmentally Friendly Package, Wholegrain, Low/No/Reduced Transfat, No Additives/Preservatives, Low/No/Reduced Allergen, Gluten-Free, and High/Added Fiber.
Between january 2010 and August 2014 there have been 67 new products launched in North America. Butter has been the leader of the top 10 flavor list from January 2010 to August 2014 with 35 new products launched. Salt/Salted comes in second with a total of 7 new products launched. The majority of microwavable popcorn products have been flavored with classics like butter, caramel and cheese but we are starting to spot some new and interesting flavors and combinations including Green Apple Caramel, Sour Cream & Onion, Salsa Chili Pepper and Jalapeno Pepper Cheddar Cheese.
Top 5 Microwavable Popcorn Flavors – North America
5. Parmesan Cheese
New Products of Note:
SKINNY GIRL LIME & SALT POPCORN
Contains 100% wholegrain and 6g of fat and 25 calories per serving. Kosher certified and free from gluten. Was launched in August 2014 and retails in a 15oz. recyclable pack which contains 10 bags. Additional flavor includes Butter & Sea Salt.
QUINN BUTTER & SEA SALT MICROWAVE POPCORN
Made with organic, non-GMO and rBGH-free butter. Is free from gluten, hydrogenated oil, diacetyl and preservatives. Was launched in June 2014 and retails in a 3.5oz. “pure-pop” recyclable and compostable bag. This movie time snack was on display at the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago.
POP SECRET SWEET ‘N CRUNCHY SLIGHTLY SWEET PREMIUM CARAMEL POPCORN
Is said to pop up glazed and is kosher certified. Was launched in January 2014 and retails in a recyclable pack containing 3 pop-and-serve bags. Additional flavor includes Sweet ‘n Crunchy Kettlecorn Slightly Sweet.
Ready-To-Eat (RTE) Popcorn
Between January 2010 and August 2014 there have been 1,155 new product launches excluding the microwavable claim.
Global New Product Launches:
UK: PROPERCORN SWEET COCONUT & VANILLA FLAVORED POPCORN
Hand-popped and made with rapeseed oil, fresh coconut and Madagascan vanilla. Retails in a 25g pack. (July 2014. )
GERMANY: JIMMY’S SWEET POPCORN
Described as being made with only the finest natural ingredients and is “honest, caring, safe and made with respect for man and nature. (August 2014.)
THAILAND: WONDERPUFF WASAMAYO POPCORN
Said to be made with “care, love and perfection, providing pleasure for everyone to enjoy every ingredient.” Retails in a 110g pack. (June 2014.)
RTE Popcorn in North America- Top Claims
Of the 422 popcorn products launched between January 2010 and August 2014 in North America, 355 of them were non-microwavable. Kosher has been the leading claim, with 125 new products and increasing 11% between 2010 and 2014. Other top claims include Low/No/ Reduced Allergen, Gluten-Free, Low/No/Reduced Trans-fat, No Additives/ Preservatives, Wholegrain, All Natural Product and GMO-Free.
Flavorful Movietime Snack
From January 2010 to August 2014, Caramel has been the leader of the top 10 flavor list with 245 new products launched. Salt/Salted comes in second with a total of 96 new products launched and Cheddar Cheese follows with 83 products. The majority of RTE popcorn products have been flavored with classics like butter, caramel and cheese but we are starting to spot some new and interesting flavors combinations including Buffalo Cheese, Chipotle Caramel, Cinnamon Sugar and Sour Cream & Onion.
Top 5 RTE Popcorn Flavors- North America
3. Cheddar Cheese
New Products of Note:
MASALA POP CHAI POPCORN WITH ASSAM TEA
Blended with a fusion of Assam tea, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves. Exotic and low in calories, it is gluten-free, vegan, all natural and melts in the mouth. Was launched in March 2014.
SEXYPOP BLACK PEPPER FLAVORED POPCORN
Made with the finest air popped popcorn. Contains antioxidants and only 35 calories per cup. GMO and gluten-free, and kosher certified. This product was launched in August 2014. Other flavors include French Butter, Lightly Salted, Bangin’ Cheddar, Bodacious Banana.
G.H. CRETORS ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL POPCORN
Made from purely organic ingredients, contains no artificial colors or flavors, is gluten and GMO free and is skinny in calories. Was launched in June 2014. This popcorn was on display at the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago.
FONA CAN HELP!
Let FONA’s market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market. Our flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way. Contact our Sales Service Department at 630.578.8600 to request a flavor sample or visit www.fona.com.