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Beyond Butter: 5 In-Demand Popcorn Flavors



As ready-to-eat popcorn sales top $750 million, it has opened up a huge market demand for gourmet flavors.

“Consumers are craving food with taste appeal, a sense of adventure and a decided healthy glow,” says Denise Purcell, editor of Specialty Food Media.

One of the great benefits of gourmet popcorn is flexibility. It’s easy to try different flavors and find out what does well with your customer base.

If you’re wondering what’s new, here are 5 trending flavors that you should consider adding to your menu:

  • Turn Up the Heat! – Hot and spicy varieties are in demand. According to the Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 54% of consumers prefer hot or spicy sauces, dips or condiments. This is up from 48% in 2011. It’s perfect to pair with popcorn. For a zesty flavor combination try Guadalajara Hot Sauce, made from a mix of chili peppers, spices and salt. It has a citrus taste with a spicy aftertaste.
  • Around the World – Food Business News reports, “Worldly flavors are trending in ready-to-eat popcorn.” These flavors are bold, exotic and distinctive. It gives customers a unique taste experience and takes them outside the norm. A flavor that fits this description is Wasabi. Known as Japanese horseradish, this spicy green condiment has a kick that will definitely open up your nasal passages.
  • The Big Cheese – A classic favorite, you can always count on cheesy flavors to be a hit. What makes this a trend to watch is the new variations that are being released. One of the newest is Cheddar Pretzel Ale. A smooth, salty and savory combination, each individual flavor stands out for an irresistible taste.
  • Salt & Pepper – There’s a reason this mix is one of the most common seasonings. It naturally combines with a wide variety of foods. It’s become very popular for chips and crackers. Why not try Sea Salt & Black Pepper popcorn? The lightly salted flavor is complemented by a dash of black pepper. Plus, the added benefit is that sea salt is a healthier alternative for low sodium and high flavor.
  • The Sweet Spot – Dessert-inspired flavors are emerging as an indulgence without the guilt. These take childhood pleasures and give them a nostalgic twist that adults can enjoy too. For refreshing fun with just the right amount of sweetness, you’ll want to offer Birthday Cake gourmet popcorn. Complete with sprinkles, it’s like a party for your taste buds!

Flavors are a worthwhile investment for your popcorn business. According to Food Product Design, “Innovative flavors are boding well with consumers, as 73% say that trying and enjoying a menu item with an innovative flavor would make them highly likely to return.” Start earning that repeat business with flavors that will keep customers coming back for more.

If you’re interested in trying any of the flavors listed above, please contact Gold Medal at [email protected] or 1-800-543-0862 to arrange a demo.