Once you pop you can't stop: UK popcorn sales have grown by 300% in the last year



17:33 GMT, 13 April 2012

Where once we were a nation of crisp munchers popcorn is now giving the potato chip a serious run for its money becoming the UK’s fastest growing snack.

In the last year alone, sales have grown by an unprecedented 300 percent and the UK popcorn market is worth a staggering 42 million.

The increase is thought to be a result of the recent boon in Britain’s home cinema and giant TV industry.

UK popcorn industry grows by 300%

The UK popcorn industry has grown by a staggering 300% in the last year

Supermarket chain Tesco reports that last year it sold seven million more bags last year than the previous year.

According to Tesco snack buyer Lee Bannerman, ‘popcorn is the biggest success story in the UK snacking market for at least 10 years and has inspired a rapidly growing home industry.

'Sales began taking off a few years ago and have ironically been helped by the economic downturn as more people stay at home instead of going out for expensive trips to the cinema or theatre. When they do they want to make the most of the experience and sharing a bag of popcorn is part of that’.

Tesco popcorn

Tesco has expanded its popcorn offering with five new flavours

As a result it has added a further five
varieties to the three it had been selling previously.

So now in
addition to plain, salty and sweet, it has added the flavours sweet and
salt, toffee, raspberry, chocolate brownie and sweet jalapeno to its
burgeoning roster.

Bannerman continues that ‘One example of how quickly the UK popcorn market has grown is that just five years ago it was worth about a tenth of the tortilla chip market – now it is worth nearly half.

'The UK’s popcorn
industry is still in its relative infancy and we can expect to see
increasingly exotic flavours coming onto the market over the next few

Popcorn was introduced to Britain just before the Second World War when popcorn machines were launched in cinemas by the American firm Butterkist.

Then with the growth in prosperity during the 1950s, cinema visits increased and the snack soon became available in shops.