Premium popcorn brand Propercorn is aiming to accelerate its category’s growth with the launch of what it claims is the UK’s only palm oil-free microwaveable popcorn.
Around a year in development, Propercorn’s trio of pop-at-home snacks comes in response “to growing demand for naturalness in the products people buy and eat” the brand said. It is made using shea butter, rapeseed oil and natural seasonings, and is free from artificial sweeteners and emulsifiers.
Sweet, Salted and Cinnamon variants (rsp: £2.19/3x70g) contain as little as 5.8g of satfat per 100g – “up to 26% less saturated fat than alternative microwave popcorn on the market” according to Propercorn. By comparison, Butterkist’s microwaveable popcorn uses palm oil, while its plainest variant, Salted, has 9.4g of satfat per 100g.
The popcorn market has seen its take-home sales rise by 4.1% in the mults to £104.2m since last year [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 28 January 2018]. While microwaveable options were down 6% to £13.8m, Propercorn claimed there was “significant untapped potential in this segment of the category”.
Pop-at-home created nostalgia and theatre, making it ideal for shared nights in, said Propercorn co-founder Cassandra Stavrou. However, the market – dominated by Butterkist and own label – had suffered a lack of “innovation around flavour, sustainable products and brand equity”.
The launch follows the appointment of former Tyrrells MD Mike Hedges as Propercorn CEO in the summer “to spearhead expansion into new international markets and drive a range of new, innovative products”.
He had since helped the business become “even more confident in our ambitious plans” Stavrou told The Grocer. “Those plans are to be really innovative – and not just in popcorn, but to see where else we can take the Proper name.”