Popcorn is gaining in statue as a healthy snack.
We know popcorn popped in a hot-air popcorn popper (with no oil) and served unsalted (with other seasonings in place of the salt) is a healthy snack. In fact, three cups of air-popped popcorn has slightly fewer calories than one sourdough pretzel.
But what about ready-to-eat popcorn (bagged popcorn)? How healthy is it?
Consumer Reports checked out 15 different ways to eat popcorn. They checked for flavor, texture, and nutrition.
First to be evaluated were five ready-to-eat salted brands. These varieties contained popcorn, sunflower oil, and salt. One surprise in this group was Skinny Pop Popcorn. It scored high in taste, but had more calories and fat than the other four brands. The best of the five was Boom Chicka Pop sea salt popcorn. It got high marks for its toasted corn flavor, it’s crispy, crunchy texture, and it’s good nutrition.
The next group tested consisted of 10 brands that were either sweet or cheesy. (This group was tested for nutrition only—not taste.) Not very healthy one would think. But some are healthy than you realize.
For example, two cups of Cape Cod salted caramel flavor had only 10 more calories and one more gram of fat than its sea salt variety.
But Boom Chicka Pop has 50 more calories and three times more sodium than its sea salt brand.
All 15 brands were between $3.70 and $4.00 per bag. The bag sizes varied slightly from 4.4 oz to 10.5 oz. The cups per bag varied from 11 to 22.
The demand for bagged popcorn in the US has increased by 100% over the last four years. Sales have now topped $1 billion. Now that’s a lot of popcorn!
From: CBS12.com by Eric Roby
New products with new and innovative flavors are predicted to increase popcorn sales world-wide by 8% between 2017-2021.
New flavors being launched include peanut butter and caramel, sweet-salty, apple pie, and sticky toffee pudding. These flavors are being introduced in the UK.
In the US, butter and caramel popcorn flavors are the most popular. Microwaveable popcorn flavors like butter, cheese, and caramel are also becoming popular.
Another reason for the increase in sales is the growing awareness of the health benefits of popcorn. The snack has concentrated sources of various proteins, antioxidants, fibers, polyphenolic compounds, and vitamin B complex. Plus, popcorn is gluten free.
And as movie theaters are making a come-back, the amount of popcorn sold in movie theaters is increasing.
From: Convenience Store Decisions, by CSD Staff
Ames, Iowa, historical society tells historical “secrets” about Main Street.
One such story involves a popcorn wagon, owned and operated by Mr. Ben Young.
He parked his popcorn wagon on the corner of Main and Douglas from 1905 to 1939. People would buy a bag of popcorn from his wagon and then go to the movie theater. Mr. Young’s business was very successful, until the advent of the automobile.
After cars became popular and plentiful, the popcorn wagon’s “architecture” began causing traffic jams. People considered the wagon a safety concern, so it was removed from Main Street.
Soon after its removal, the movie theater began
selling popcorn to its patrons.
From: Iowa State Daily, by Haifan Xiao