In a new series of blogs for 2017 we’re bringing food operators the latest trends for the on-the-go food market. From Acai bowls and Poke, to Bao burgers and rolled ice-cream – we’ll be taking a close look at the must-have dishes essential for any 2017 take-out menu; and we’ll be exploring why these dishes have risen to popularity so quickly.
Traditionally reserved for a snack purchased at the cinema, popcorn has undergone a delicious gourmet twist to combine flavour and texture and create an experience suited to any occasion. Similar to the flavouring of crisps, popcorn began with simple and safe flavours, like salt, sugar or butter, before becoming more and more adventurous, much to the delight of consumers.
In 2017, unique and interesting flavour combinations are highly sought after, especially those that go beyond one-note flavours with unusual alternatives like spicy-sweet or sweet-and-sour variations. Healthy snacks are also popular with consumers, flavourings like kale and sriracha make popcorn tasty, whilst remaining healthy, and unique popping techniques such as baking, can make this snack even healthier.
Popcorn is so versatile and makes a great base as it easily takes on the flavours of the foods it’s cooked with and carries the flavours of anything ladled on top. It can be a low-calorie snack or an indulgent treat, and is fantastic for eating on the go.
Some flavours currently on the market include Caramel and Cheddar Cheese, Coconut and Vanilla, Lemon Sherbet, Marmite, Toffee Apple and Cinnamon, Gin and Tonic, Sweet Chilli and Blue Cheese with Walnut and Celery.
Although gourmet popcorn has been around for a while in the USA, it has only started to truly pop up around the UK over the last few years. Research by Mintel has found that the average Briton eats 5kg of popcorn a year, and retail sales of the snack have been increasing at a rapid rate, with consumers favouring handmade and artisan styles. This gives a great opportunity for foodservice operators to join the trend and offer their own gourmet popcorn flavours, freshly made on site.
Adding gourmet popcorn to your menu is easier than you may think; the equipment and labour required to produce popcorn is minimal, you can flavour it with anything you choose, and it’s also cheap to create.
Whether you make popcorn in a large batch at the start of the day, or make to order, there are some fantastic packaging options available. Popcorn can be enjoyed directly from one of our Kraft popcorn cones, a great option for warm freshly made popcorn. Cold packaged popcorn serves beautifully in our range of windowed Kraft or white paper bags, allowing your customers to get a peek at the delicious popcorn inside.