New flavors and varieties are starting to make inroads overseas, according to Innova Market Insights.
The Tangerine Confectionery company in Pontefract, United Kingdom, relaunched its Butterkist brand in 2012 with sweet and savory flavors that include Thai sweet chili, sour cream and chive, and limited-edition strawberries and cream.
The Intersnack Group, Dusseldorf, Germany, entered the microwave popcorn market in 2012 and extended its product line in 2014 with the introduction of ready-to-eat Pop Corners, available in such flavors as sea salt and sweet.
Benenuts, a PepsiCo brand, launched three popcorn varieties under the Apero banner: barbecue, cheese, and salted.
More than half of the popcorn introductions recorded globally in the 12 months ended in June were positioned on a health platform, rising to over 78% in the U.S., according to Innova Market Insights. Quinn Popcorn takes it a step further with a farm-to-bag positioning, allowing consumers to track the batch from which their products came.
Products perceived as natural was a key segment in global popcorn launches last year, according to Innova, with over 28% using either a natural or additive-, preservative-free claim. Varieties in the Cobs Natural Popcorn range include nacho cheese, sea salt and cider vinegar, and cocoa crunch.
Tyrrell's Potato Crisps, Herefordshire, United Kingdom, recently expanded beyond chips into popcorn with a range of flavors that includes sour cream and jalapeno chili, mature cheddar cheese, and sticky toffee pudding.
Kettle Foods, a business unit of Diamond Brands, this year entered the popcorn category with a ready-to-eat line in maple bacon, sriracha, white cheddar, sea salt, and salt and fresh ground pepper varieties. Like the brand's snack chips, Kettle Brand popcorn has a natural positioning with simple ingredients.
Diva Popcorn from Diva All Stars Studio, Dorset, United Kingdom, is air-popped rather than oil-popped and available in rock salt, three-cheese, sweet chipotle chili and sweet and salt flavors. Each bag contains fewer than 100 calories.