Why Popcorn Sales Are Better Than Ever

October  2, 2017

Television is at its artistic and economic height. Meanwhile, movie theaters increasingly struggle to get bodies in seats. But despite decreasing attendance, one theater staple remains popular: popcorn. In fact, some say the salty, buttery, microwaveable movie accoutrement is experiencing a “third golden age," as people turn to healthier, homemade versions of the crunchy concession.

Pre-Columbian indigenous Central Americans were likely the first to pop kernels, heating ears of maize to render them puffy. And according to the Popcorn Board, a non-profit funded by US popcorn manufacturers, the popped kernels were a central element of Aztec ritual.

Today, popcorn is more casual. It first peaked in the '30s as a result of the cinema boom, and again in the '80s with the rise of microwaves. Most recently, the Guardian reported a 16.9% increase in ready-to-eat popcorn and caramel corn sales from February 2016 to February 2017. This news arrives at a key moment for popcorn, with the brisk arrival of fall and October branded as "National Popcorn Poppin’ Month."

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Perhaps we can attribute its recent resurgence to a new vein of popcorn products, like Skinnypop, that advertise a lower-calorie, gluten-free, non-GMO snack. Personally, I welcome the healthier take on the buttery snack, which has left bloated and sleepy after many a movie. But don't just relegate popcorn to the movie theater. You can enjoy the crunchy snack at home. Try your hand in your own kitchen with some of our recipes:

Do you buy the popcorn craze? Or is it just an un-popped kernel? Let us know your take in the comments.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


BerryBaby October 2, 2017
I never stopped making popcorn, no craze here! Always have microwave bags on hand but love loose kennels made on the stove
like we had as kids. This time of year I recall the homemade popcorn balls we would receive from our neighbor in Halloween! Too bad we can't do that anymore. Homemade popcorn balls are the best!😋
kellyroachcoaching November 23, 2017
If you’re ready for dramatic growth in your business Kelly will reveal the strategies she developed while creating recording breaking growth in her Fortune 500 company… year after year.