KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, US — That pop-ah-pop-pop sound is music to the ears for many players in the ready-to-eat (RTE) popcorn market. In fact, 9 out of the top 10 brands in this category saw sales increase in 2022, and 7 out of 10 experienced a double-digit hike, ringing in the overall 13.1% rise for the $1.7 billion market, according to IRI data for the 52-week period ended Jan 8, 2023, which was recently published in SNAC World’s state-of-the-industry report.

It’s no wonder this off-the-charts act is attracting the likes of the Jonas Brothers. The three of them teamed up with a longtime friend and his father Rob, who developed the popcorn last year to commercialize Rob’s Backstage Popcorn and make their favorite snack for everyone to share. Popcorn for pop rock fans, anyone?

For nearly a decade, the RTE popcorn market has proved it’s no one-hit wonder as the category’s sales hummed along at a nice growth rate and then struck gold during the pandemic as homebodies binged on this snack along with their favorite movies and TV shows. More recently, players like Barcel USA, the snack division of Grupo Bimbo, didn’t miss a beat and brought the heat with its Popcornopolis Takis Fuego, which combines hot chili pepper and lime with non-GMO popcorn. LesserEvil launched into a different world with its Space Balls that come in Cinnamon Sugar Stardust and Interstellar Cheddar flavors.

Popcorn has a healthy halo with its low-calorie content and a decent amount of fiber. Maybe that’s why The Popcorn Board reports that Americans scarf down 14 billion quarts of popcorn annually, or nearly 50 quarts per person.