By Melissa Strle, Monday, April 13, 2015
The Ready-to-eat (RTE) popcorn market has recently undergone an increase in popularity. This market segment is competing in the ready-to-eat snacks segment with other snack items including potato chips, pretzels, snack bars and nuts.
According to a new Rabobank report The Popcorn Blockbuster: What The Snack’s Comeback Means For The Future Of The U.S. Food Industry, the ready-to-eat snack “is now giving the potato chip, the dominant snack, a run for its money.”
The report also states that even though the US popcorn market only made up just 6% of the US snack market in 2014, the RTE popcorn market has grown at double-digit rates since 2013. The caramel corn segment alone approached $1 billion in sales for the 52 weeks ended December 28, 2014.
In Canada, makers such as ConAgra sell RTE popcorn through brands including Orville Redenbachers and Crunch n’ Munch. However, ConAgra has seen a decline in its latest fiscal year end financial results, which may in part be due to increased competition in the RTE category. Smartfood Popcorn is also a staple popcorn on grocery store shelves.
New players on the market include SkinnyPop, Skinnygirl and BOOMCHICKAPOP. These new market entrants are bringing something new to the market. For example, SkinnyPop produces RTE popcorn with minimal ingredients designed to appeal to health conscious consumers. The company recently added new flavours Ultra-Lite White Cheddar and Naturally Sweet and has seen a dramatic increase in sales.
Skinnygirl has recently co-branded with Orville Redenbachers to bring healthier options to the market. It produces butter & sea salt popcorn and lime & salt popcorn. BOOMCHICKAPOP features bright and colorful packaging along with many unique popcorn flavours including mixed berry and tropical mix.
RTE popcorn is a fast and up-and-coming segment with recent strong sales. Keep an eye on this segment at your local grocery store.
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