Butterkist is hoping to ­accelerate already impressive sales with a new range of posh popcorn.

The Tangerine Confectionery brand is launching Butterkist Toffee Popcorn Clusters with Pecan & Almonds in 170g bags and Butterkist Toffee Popcorn coated with Thick Milk Chocolate in 200g bags (rsp: £1.99) in September.

A 50g impulse version of the Thick Milk Chocolate popcorn will roll out in October (rsp: 59p), targetting on-the-go consumers.

The confectioner said the popcorn market was lacking a premium ­option and predicted the indulgent NPD would ­accelerate already strong growth for Butterkist, which grew 19% in ­value to £25m last year [IRI 52w/e 15 June 2010].

Rather than "being exclusively a movie snack", the NPD would take Butterkist into new areas of snacking, sharing and gift opportunities, said senior brand manager Maria Townsend, adding that Tangerine wanted the lines in Christmas ranges.

"We have been looking at successful launches in many areas, including Cadbury Clusters, and premium launches have been successful despite the recession," said Townsend.