What's happening in the world of ready to eat popcorn?

Snacking is big business and becoming a mainstream mode of eating.  According to a Mondelez study 59% of adults prefer snacking to meals. Popcorn has long been a popular snack food but let's take a closer look to see what flavors and formats are trending in retail.

Microwave popcorn is the largest format for popcorn however ready to eat  (RTE) popcorn grew, while microwave popcorn shrunk.  

Sweet and salty blends are growing within the popcorn space.  Overall, the salty snack space is getting sweeter and popcorn is following that trend.  Some examples of sweet popcorn are the Trader Joe's Birthday Cake Popcorn, or the mash up of candy and popcorn as seen in Candy Pop Popcorn with Butterfinger candy.

RTE popcorn eaters are also interested in healthy popcorn options. The types of labeling calls out seen on retail popcorn today include: Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Vegan, High Fiber, No Artificial Anything, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Whole Grain, No Preservatives, Soy Free, No Cholesterol and Zero Trans Fat. 

Here are the fastest growing flavors/seasonings when it comes to popcorn.

Sweet & Savory  

Birthday Cake



Pineapple Glazed

Garam Masala



Hatch Chili


Jamaican Jerk


Whether consumers are looking for a sweet indulgence or a health conscious crunchy snack, popcorn options have never been better. As partners in developing new products there is great opportunity to dream up, formulate and share new flavor profiles that have never been seen before or classic flavors that have been waiting in the wings for consumers to fall in love with again.

Blog sources: Givaudan -Topline Popcorn Insights - 2020, Mondelez International's State of Snacking" report -2019

About Kagome

Kagome is a global leader in sauce creation and production.  Our culinary team works closely with our customers to provide flavorful solutions to meet demands and trends around the world.

For questions about where you can buy your next delectable sauce, buttery spread or popcorn seasoning for your concession menu or popcorn shop, please contact Ann.Smith@kagomeusa.com.

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Kagome Asia

With 10 facilities and growing, Kagome has aggressively expanded operations from its base in Japan to Taiwan, China, and Malaysia. Kagome Japan has an exceptional commitment to quality, teamwork, science and technology. Kagome Japan is home to the world's largest privately held tomato seed bank with 7,500 varieties. It is also where many of our proprietary processes were nurtured and brought to fruition. Kagome Japan's core values are shared across its family of companies.

Capabilities in Asia include a colorful variety of fruit and vegetable products such as sauces, drinks, ready-to-eat meals and probiotics.

Kagome Australia

Kagome Australia is expanding into sauce production from tomato farming and processing. The opposite growing season in Australia gives us added flexibility. It will be the first fully vertically integrated operation in the Kagome family.

Kagome Europe

HIT, a Kagome subsidiary in Portugal, is based in a superb tomato growing region. These tomatoes are highly prized for their color and sweetness, which HIT turns into unique tomato ingredients and products. A newly established Agricultural Research Center studies new seed varieties and processing technologies in collaboration with other Kagome teams.

Kagome USA

Kagome USA has manufacturing and R&D facilities on both coasts, in California and Arkansas. Capabilities have evolved from pouched tomato sauces to include cream sauces, compound butters, margarines and spreads, and portion pack. With unmatched access to consistent tomato crops and other raw materials, the US operation is highly scaled, flexible, and efficient to meet global demands. United Genetics, a seed company based in California, recently joined the Kagome family.