LONDON — The global popcorn market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 7% between 2016-20 and may reach sales exceeding $12 billion by 2020, according to a new report from London-based researcher Technavio.
With a revenue share of more than 61%, North America is the largest popcorn market, according to Technavio. The region has recorded sharp growth in recent years as snacks companies such as Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Great American Popcorn and Diamond Foods have given the category more attention. Growth is expected to continue in North America through 2020, with a forecast CAGR of more than 6% during 2016-20, according to Technavio.
“Many new launches between 2010 and 2014, including flavors such as maple, green apple caramel, and sour cream and onion, have helped to drive the sales of popcorn,” said G. Vijay Sarathi, lead food research expert at Technavio. “For instance, 479 Degrees launched coconut caramel artisan popcorn, and Gary Poppins rolled out cheddar and caramel popcorn.”
In Latin America, the popcorn market is expected to reach nearly $2 billion in sales by 2020, growing at a CAGR of about 8%, according to Technavio. The research firm said Mexico and Argentina are the largest importers of popcorn in this region, while the per capita consumption in Brazil of microwave popcorn is about 80 grams per year, which exhibits considerable room for growth and is attracting vendors. A strategic partnership between ConAgra Foods and Cargill in October 2014 is an example of vendors tapping the growth potential, Technavio said.
Innovative flavors are boosting the popularity of popcorn in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, according to Technavio. The popcorn market is still relatively small in Europe, but Technavio said it expects the segment to grow more than 7% during the 2016-20 period. Popcorn varieties such as posh popcorn, gourmet and unpopped popcorn are gaining attraction in the European countries, Technavio said.
“Rising interest in ethnic and exotic flavors has also compelled the vendors to experiment with interesting and innovative flavors such as TNT fruit chutney flavored popcorn in Nigeria and barbecue popcorn by Top of the Pop in South Africa,” Mr. Sarathi said.
Perhaps the sharpest growth is expected for the APAC region, or Asia-Pacific region. Technavio has projected a CAGR of more than 11% in the region by 2020, propelled forward by rising disposable income and increasing purchasing of snacks.“A fast growing trend in APAC is gourmet popcorn, which can be shown by the initiation of a retail chain of gourmet popcorn known as Cornery,” Mr. Sarathi said. “These chains started in the markets of Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Thailand due to less availability of such snack providers. It aims to take the first mover advantage and offer a new high quality of popcorn rather than conventional popcorn.”