Recently, there has been a resurgence in popularity of movie-viewers’ favorite snack. With sales nearly doubling between 2014 and 2015 (expected to reach $12 billion by 2020), and new products seeming to “pop” up everyday, popcorn is more cinematic than ever. Keeping in mind that not all kernels are created equal, we set out on a mission to find the brands with the most pep to their pop in our latest blind taste test. Whatever your preference, surely there’s a popcorn for you!
Pop Secret White Popping Corn
- Crunchiness – With fewer hulls, we found Pop Secret to have a chewy texture rather than a crunchy, crisp bite. More hulls = more crunch.
- Packaging/Branding – Pop Secret’s branding received high marks. The identity is simple, yet classic and recognizable – a definite plus. We also appreciate the functionality of the packaging. A lid that doubles as a measuring cup is smart design.
- Appetite Appeal – The bright white kernels of this white corn variety fell flat for some testers. In addition to looking bland, the popped kernels lacked the fluffiness we were looking for.
- Price – $4.20/32 oz
Tiny But Mighty Popcorn
- Crunchiness – Our testers noted the crispiness of the smaller kernels and a balanced puff-to-hull ratio.
- Packaging/Branding – We liked the distinctive black packaging, which exudes “specialty brand”. The package is also resealable, making for convenient storage.
- Appetite Appeal – It’s all in the name – these kernels are TINY! Though an advantage for some, most of our testers much prefer “meatier” kernels. Size-shaming aside, the earthy, nutty nature of this popcorn is definitely mighty!
- Price – $5.79/20 oz
- Crunchiness – Remember: more hulls = more crunch. We found Jack’s Superior to be crisp and crunchy. The yellow popcorn delivers a nutty flavor. Yum!
- Packaging/Branding – We found there to be a disconnect between the premium price and the generic packaging. Also, the package does not reseal, making it hard to store.
- Appetite Appeal – Jack’s Superior received many positive remarks for its soft yellow kernels. However, we would have liked to see a little more fluffiness in its pop.
- Price – $8.00/32 oz
Pop Crazy Gourmet Popcorn
- Crunchiness – Scoring high in the “crunch” factor, Pop Crazy is the most light and airy of all brands tested, but continues to hold a crisp bite.
- Packaging/Branding – The cube-like container makes for easy storage, a plus among our testers. The red and yellow color palette says “movie theater popcorn,” but its branding lacks the own-able personality we expect in a gourmet product.
- Appetite Appeal – The light, fluffly appearance of these yellow kernels was drool-worthy for our testers – everything we’re looking for in popcorn!
- Price – $5.99/28 oz
*reviews based on a 5-kernel scale
SPICE IT UP!
Try adding these flavor mix-ins to butter for an extra special movie treat:
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Truffle oil
- Sea salt
- Cardamon and clove sugar
- Parsley and parmasean
- Powdered Ranch
- Nutritional Yeast