It’ll be no surprise to most that popcorn is currently the fastest growing grocery product in the UK*. The air popped snack is quickly becoming the ‘go to’ goodie for the expanding health conscious market that still crave a treat, without the explosion of calories.
This £152m market* however, is not how we remember it, it’s no longer just a choice between sweet and salted, and the dreaded drabs of seeds at the end which chip your teeth. No, now it’s a world full of imaginative flavours, from maple bacon, because who doesn’t want popcorn for breakfast (!), wasabi and ginger, peppermint cream, to lemon sherbet!
You may be thinking these weird and wacky flavours are niche and something you’d see in a small boutique shop in a trendy, hipster town, but that’s far from the truth. These flavours are from major retailers such as Tyrells, Marks & Spencer and our very own Montagu Group brand, Portlebay Popcorn. It seems that consumers are loving the revamp of a traditional snack, and the braveness that brands are taking on creating Willy Wonka inspired treats.
So is this a phase that will soon dwindle out, like the sudden splurge of milkshake shops in every little town? Well the figures say not. The popcorn market has doubled in value since 2013 and continues to rise year-on-year, unlike their savoury snack pal, the crisp, who have seen slowing sales. The fried snack is being shunned by the fitness lovers, with many large brands launching lighter alternative crisps to meet changing demand. Walkers introduced their Sunbites range a number of years ago to provide a lower fat crisp for the “more health-conscious shopper”. More recently they launched their Sunbites Nut Mix range; another increasingly popular snack that consumers are moving towards due to its healthier qualities.
Although popcorn has expanded its reach incredibly over the past 5 years, rejuvenating itself from, what was, a leisure snack consumed during entertainment, it still merely sits in the shadow of the crisp market’s triumph. The crisp may be down 50million**, but it is still a £2bn industry*, more than 13 times the size of the popcorn industry. So although the crisp market is not as lucrative as previous years, popcorn still has a way to go to be in the crisp league.
But for now, it seems the popping corn is here to stay, and continues to win over Brits every day. The market is growing, and we couldn’t be happier with this news. Personally, we can’t wait to see (and try) the new flavours created in the future!
Need somewhere to stock these tasty snacks, view our range of vending machines here
*The Guardian, 2017
**The Telegraph, 2016