Popcorn makers thinking outside the bag

by Dan Malovany
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Ready-to-eat popcorn is the hottest selling snack out there. Some manufacturers quietly report they’re adding capacity to keep up with growth. Sales rose more than 20% last year. It’s easy to see why. Think Sea Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Parmesan and Herb, Onion Dijon, Real Butter, and then go even more adventurous.

During the past few years, companies such as Popcorn, Indiana have introduced light versions of R.-T.-E. popcorn with only a couple dozen calories per cup, and the products come in bold flavors.

“Our FIT sea salt multipack is a perfect example of a product that meets the demand for high-quality portable snacks on-the-go,” said Jeff Dworzanski, director of marketing for the Englewood, N.J.-based company. “Those with a more adventurous palate will be blown away by the new savory flavors like Sriracha, jalapeño and Hatch Chile Cheese. We’ve added different sizes for different channels and occasions as demand has continued to grow.”

In addition to being low in calories, popcorn complements the healthy eating trend because it is low fat, contains simple yet all-natural ingredients and is a good source of fiber and whole grain. Introduced last year, Popcorn, Indiana’s FIT popcorn has 40 or less calories per cup.

That’s thinking out of the bag.

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