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Gourmet Popcorn Business Idea

According to industry statistics provided by the Popcorn Board, Americans gobble up 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. This equates to 52 quarts per person per year. In other words, every American eats just under a quart of popped popcorn per week. With this type of demand, why not consider starting a popcorn business today?

While popcorn pundits may disagree, it’s relatively difficult to establish a market niche based purely on the type of corn. However, when tasty flavorings, appealing packaging, and useful accessories are added to the mix, a popcorn business can flourish.

If you’re curious about the profitability of a gourmet popcorn business opportunity, just check out some of the online popcorn stores. It’s not hard to subtract the cost of your raw materials to find out that this business can definitely pop!

Getting Started In Your Popcorn Business

Since this is a food business, you need to be extra careful and make sure you get all of the appropriate licenses, inspections, and/or certifications based on your city’s operating requirements. A trip to your City Hall will be time well spent in helping you understand your local food business regulations.

With the necessary paperwork in hand, you’ll next need to experiment and come up with your secret recipes. If you’re thinking about this business, chances are you’ve already done this. You’ll just need to be able to scale your recipe for larger batches. One point of note…just because you like to put cayenne pepper, sugar and butter on your popcorn, that doesn’t mean other people will like it. Invite friends and family to taste your creations and take their feedback to heart.

You’ll also need to start thinking about where you want to sell your popcorn. Good initial sales channels include local fairs and markets. You can also sell online but you may want to wait for this until you become more established and your company name has more customer “pop”.

Things To Think About

As is the case with most any gourmet food business, the quality and taste appeal of your product will differentiate winners and losers in this market. The barriers to entry in a popcorn business are fairly low. This means there’s a lot of potential competition. How will you differentiate yourself from others? You’ll need to think of other competitive advantages outside of your popcorn. Customer service, name recognition, and unique packaging are some additional and important considerations.

Popcorn is also somewhat of a seasonal food. The majority of popcorn is consumed in the fall and winter months. If you’re running a retail outlet or online store, you’ll need to prioritize and target your marketing campaigns to align with market seasonality.

Cleanliness and sanitation are also critically important in your ongoing popcorn business operations. As your business grows, make sure your quality control process can keep pace. There’s nothing that can shutter a food business more quickly than a quality control issue.

Expanding Your Popcorn Business

After your popcorn venture gets off the ground, start thinking of ways to expand. If you’re successful selling at markets, now is the time to start thinking about taking your business online. You may also want to try and sell your products wholesale to local gourmet food and gift stores.

When you expand into retail operations, you should also consider expanding your product line. This expansion must include a wide variety of popcorn flavors, gift ideas, popcorn novelties, and even other gourmet snack foods such as fudge or cookies.

As you grow your popcorn business, keep a close eye on and protect those things that have made you a success thus far. Don’t grow too quickly and let your quality or identity suffer. And at the end of the day, have fun! A gourmet popcorn business opportunity should be enjoyable for you and your employees…after all, who is ever grumpy with a mouth full of popcorn?

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