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January 28, 2020
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In Celebration of Popcorn!

Happy National Popcorn Day! In celebration, why not grab a bag of popped goodness and sling it together with your favourite topping? Whether sweet or savoury, healthy or tasty; kernels offer the foundation for perhaps the most underrated snack of them all – popcorn with caramel and bacon. Don’t believe us? Give it a try. You can thank us later.

Perhaps best known for playing an important role as the cinematic food of choice, popcorn’s recognition has spread worldwide. Quite frankly, the crunchy foodstuff enjoys phenomenon status for a reason. It’s amazing!

Fun number facts about popcorn:

Americans Love Popcorn

Across the Atlantic, Americans consume 17.3 billion quarts of popcorn every 12 months. To put this into perspective, that’s 70 quarts per person (1 quart = 4 cups). The result? 280 cups per person on average per year.

Provided they don’t drown the snack in butter and salt, home-prepared popcorn can make a rather healthy snack. Out of all those people who eat popcorn, about 70% eat it at home and the other 30% eat at the movies, in theatres and at sporting events.

History of Popcorn

Popped kernels are not a new innovation. Far from it, as the oldest discovery is believed to be over 5,000 years old. Uncovered in a Mexican cave during the summer of 1948, the ancient popcorn’s location and age lead experts to believe that the origin rests within an Aztec timeframe.

However, historians don’t believe that the Aztecs ate the food. Rather, they used the kernels to decorate their ceremonies and traditional celebrations. Women would dance a ‘popcorn dance’ with ‘popped’ headdresses and necklaces. As you do.

Throughout history, popped kernels has become a food source with solid growth despite market predictions. When the Great Depression hit America in 1929, the kernel business still thrived. The reason? Quite simply, it was one of the most affordable treats on the market – costing only 5 or 10 cents a bag; affordable for families on even the lowest income.

Whilst other business failed throughout the 1930s, popped kernels became a source of income for many struggling farmers, as popcorn became the substitute for those with a sweet tooth. As a cheaper alternative to previously available snacks, popularity surged due to sugar rations and diminished chocolate production.

Popcorn Machine and Inventions

American businessman Charles Cretors invented large-scale, commercial popcorn machines in 1893. His creation was the first automated machine that could pop kernels with seasonings uniformly.

An American electronics expert, Perry Spencer, invented microwave popcorn. When he paused in front of a power tube – called a magnetron – in 1945, he felt a “weird” feeling and noticed that the tube had melted a chocolate candy bar he had in his pocket. He decided to see if it would pop kernels, which it did. God knows how Spencer’s body reacted to such exposed radiation…

After popcorn sales figures? Get in touch with our data team here.

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