Every January, a plethora of articles on the biggest food trends of the past year are published; last week one in particular caught our eye – the exploding demand for ready-to-eat popcorn.
“The ‘astounding’ reinvention of popcorn as “Millennial friendly, cool and healthy””, a Jan 15th article from Food Navigator, quotes a recent Rabobank report that found sales of bagged, pre-popped popcorn are up 60% since 2012 – a substantial increase in just a couple years! As the article explains, “it is never too late for a category to reinvent itself” and the popcorn industry has done just that.
According to a Rabobank senior analyst, “it is the small innovative companies” that are leading the way with convenient packaging and exciting new flavors, and better yet, he says these products are “expanding the overall market and not just cannibalizing microwaveable popcorn’s market share.” (Remember when we though microwaveable popcorn was the next big thing?!)
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know we often refer to the major consumption boost “baby” carrots triggered as a model we hope to emulate with our nonbrowning Arctic® apples, but the similarities here are just as compelling. Re-invigorating a product category (or opening up a new one) for a food consumers already know and love with enhanced convenience and exciting new products and flavors is exactly our goal with Arctic apples!
And, just as pre-popped, ready-to-eat popcorn was barely on the radar years ago, pre-sliced apple products still make up less than 2% of apple sales, despite being consumers’ most requested packaged produce item. Consumers have already told us they can’t wait for the added convenience Arctic apples offer, and as the ready-to-eat popcorn trend demonstrates, they’re ready to put their money where their mouth is!