Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Galchic

To popcorn lovers: would you try it?

Recommended Posts

 

Hello, folks, thanks for reading.

 

My husband thinks, I should start selling my popcorn seasonings (which I make for my family), it’s a good product. But I'm not sure if it’s interesting to other people... So, what do you think, guys?

 

Our story: 

We’ve bought an air popper machine, but popcorn came out pretty tasteless. Then, we’ve bought different “popcorn seasoning” mixes... But it always ends with all the seasoning at the bottom of the bowl. Then, we've added butter, oil and so on before seasoning...  we got soggy, chewy popcorn. Lot’s of disappointments…

 

When we almost gave up… the magic happened! I figured out the way to make seasonings that:

  • Stick to popcorn, but not sticky to fingers (or T-shirt  ,
  • Easy to apply,
  • May be pre cooked in bulk and stored…
  • And popcorn appears crunchy, tasty, thoroughly covered with seasoning.

 

Sounds good, yep? Now, when I want to treat myself  - I only need 2 mins to turn tasteless popped popcorn to a real treat.  

The only moment - it request 1 extra effort: after you toss it over popcorn, you need to microwave it for 1 min, and stir after.

 

So, I was wondering, if you like popcorn like myself - would this seasoning be interesting for you to purchase? Are you ready for a little extra work (microwave & stir) in the goal to flavor popcorn, or it feels too much effort?

 

As I have no experience in manufacturing and retail, your answers would help me to make a very important decision - to dive in or not... 

 

Thanks in advance for your answers, it means the world to me.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to eGullet.

 

I have more questions than answers 🙃 Is your seasoning sugar-based and it needs the extra heat to melt it?  Can you add it to stove-top popcorn in the cooking pot?  Will it work on microwave popcorn?  I'd be more interested in a savory seasoning than  a sweet one.

 

I think the extra step could be a barrier for some people, and focusing only on air-popped popcorn is really limiting.  Think of what else would this seasoning be good on - toast, pasta, fruit, vegetables, steak?  What happens if you put it on something wet?  Also, microwaves and bowls of popcorn vary. 1 minute for a small batch might get burned - how can you fool-proof it?  i.e. microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time until X happens.

 

In terms of trying to sell a product, something you put only on air-popped popcorn once a month is a tiny niche. You want people to put it on more stuff, use it faster, and buy more!

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We pop on the stove top with oil. I don't add butter. Salt and any moderate savory seasoning get added and tossed  as soon as the popcorn goes from pot to bowl. Often that seasoning is simply freshly grated hard cheese. An extra step in the microwave would not be a selling point for me personally. Perhaps a portion of dedicated air poppers would want some way to get their seasonings to stick better, but as pastry girl suggests, that's a limited market.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not have, nor do I want, an air popper.  While I have used microwaved popcorn in the past, I now make popcorn on the stove.  I have purchased flavorings from Kernels but I don't like how it falls to the bottom of the bowl.  If yours works for popcorn made in a pot, I would try it for sure.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn’t have a problem with the microwave step but the comment about specifying the amount of popcorn per batch would be useful.

Can you take a picture of it with a description of the taste?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I'm a popcorn hound. I've taken to kernels, in a pyrex lidded bowl, in the microwave. I don't think I'd spend money for a seasoning blend. Also the microwave part if rife with potential disaster as MW's differ so and volume matters. Green can parmesan on hot popcorn works. My favorite is very slight dribble of good olive oil with furikake (partial to shrimp). My office went through a Hawaiian Hurricane popcorn phase - tasty stuff! 


Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure I would buy seasoning either - in fact I would not.  But I am interested to learn more about how one distributes it while keeping it attached and maintaining crispness.

 

:)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I am understanding you properly, you are talking about selling just the seasoning (like the bottles of very fine popcorn salt or butter flavoring you can find at the store)?  It sounds interesting.  The problem with things like that is generating continuing sales.  Sometimes things like that are impulse buys and you don't get repeat sales.  I'm sure (if it were a decent price) I would buy it once, but it would have to be fantastic for me to buy it again.  You also have to decide if you want to have 'soft' beginning sales - i.e. farmer's markets, etc.  - which means a lot of your customers won't be there every week.  Or do you want to distribute through stores?  Much more complicated, as far as I can tell.  Let us know what you decide and take us along for the ride if you decide to pursue the idea.  Some of the best threads here have been started by people deciding to market/develop an idea.  You'll find eG folks very interested and experienced.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, heidih said:

Green can parmesan on hot popcorn works 

 

Hmmmm - I don't think that's actually parm, but you knew that, @heidih!

 

I often use a mixture of oil (avo, safflower or some other high-heat stuff) and butter, and actually add some seasoning to the pot when I throw the kernels in (this is stovetop stuff, as I don't own a microwave). Sometimes, I'll use duck fat. I find it works quite well,

 

But back to the OP, only one way to find out, I think. And that's to make some, package it up, and find a flea market or local food fair to try and sell some. Or offer up some samples, and get some feedback from people who might be customers. I can't tell you how many people started selling with a little booth at a tiny fair we have in our backyard every summer weekend, who now have brick & mortar type places.

  • Like 2

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be unlikely to purchase this in a store but. In a situation like @weinoo mentions above, where I could sample this amazing popcorn and read over the ingredients, I could be tempted. 

I agree with @heidih that microwave ovens are all over the place so you'd be wise to test your product in many of them.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Dear guys,

Thank you so much for all your answers, I can't tell you how much they are  helpful. Lots of points, I didn't think before! 

So, I did try to use my seasonings in the cooking pot… and the result was even better, then in the microwave. Also, then you miss an extra step... What an interesting turn! :)
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@pastrygirl 

Thank you for your good points, I'll think about it... Love your idea to increase the ways of using the product. Here, in Belgium, we like sweet toasts, like ones with Nutella or hagelslag ("shit of mouse" - small pieces of chocolate). At least, it may be used with toasts... And I like the idea about pasta… It was a very good point, thank you!
 

@Katie MeadowThank you for your feedback.  It's a good point about limited target auditory.. So, I’ve tried to use it in cooking pot - it works, too!
 


Edited by Galchic (log)
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ElsieD Thank you for your sweet words! Yes, I did try, it works for popcorn made in a pot, and in this case, you don't need an extra step with microwave. The easier - the better! ;)

 

@Okanagancook

Thank you for your feedback. I did some research: popcorn manufactures & cinemas use a proportion like 50-86% of the sweetener to the weight of corn before it has been popped. I have no photos, sorry, as it's a very first step.. But I can tell about tastes. As I live in Belgium, and the Belgian chocolate is a subject of our national glory, I like to play with sweets, and my favs are:
- Dark chocolate with cayenne,
- Classic: caramel with sea salt,
- On the way: Pina Colada (rum & cocos) and pinda nuts.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@heidih Thank you for your reply. I'm very much intrigued about Hawaiian Hurricane popcorn) Never met it before, sounds very special!

 

@TicTac 

Thank you. My product is only seasonings in the jar. The consumer makes popcorn himself at home, and adds my seasoning on popped popcorn, to flavor to it. 

About crispy part -  there are tons of recipes in Internet for homemade caramel popcorn, but in all of them you need to bake popcorn after covering with caramel in the oven for about 30-40 mins. Otherways popcorn comes chewy, sticky to fingers, and in a shape of one ball. So, it took time to find the recipe, where popcorn after be covered with caramel or something, stays crunchy without being baked in the oven, and I’m satisfied with my 2-mins-1-effort product & method.

 

@Kim Shook 

Yes, ma'am, correct. I’m thinking to start with eCommerce, as Kickstarter and Amazon.. Entering offline supermarkets requests a powerful contacts and marketing budget, so it's only workable the after concept has been proved with convincing sales. Thanks, SharkTank :)

Thank you for your feedback. It was inspiring, to read you ;)

 

@weinoo 

Thank you for your reply. Like your idea, it’s bold but efficient, cuz the demonstration part of my product is must. It's not only about taste, there are many nice seasonings on the market... But about the method - solving the problem in 2 mins with minimum efforts. Thank you for a good tip!

 

@blue_dolphin Thank you for your reply. Looks like the perfect way to find first consumers was found :)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Galchic said:

Here, in Belgium, we like sweet toasts, like ones with... hagelslag ("shit of mouse" - small pieces of chocolate).

 

Oh god, this is the best thing I've read in a while. Reminds me of when my dad told me that cotton candy in Greek is "malli tis grias" which means "old lady hair". All I could think was "EW gross who the hell wants to eat old lady hair" but apparently you guys are good with mouse shit in Belgium so I just don't know anymore.


 

 
  • Like 2
  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By jmacnaughtan
      Hi,
       
      This is a slightly odd question, and I think this is probably the right place for it.
       
      As I mentioned previously, I'm hosting a failed selfie exhibition and will be doing food and drink to match. One thing that I thought would be fun to do, however, was encase a functioning telephone in a set jelly/jell-O and have people call it.  It would be set on vibrate, obviously
       
      Anyway, this is not something I've done before, and the logistics are a bit interesting:
       
      - How can I stop the jelly destroying the electronics? Would a phone survive being vac-sealed?
      - Which proportion of gelatin to water do I need for structural stability, but maximum wobble?
      - Would a larger jelly wobble more satisfyingly?
      - Is a phone's vibrate setting even strong enough to wobble jelly?
      - Fully transparent or coloured?
       
      I don't intend to serve this as food, so food safety and flavour are not an issue.
       
      All suggestions welcome.
    • By Okanagancook
      I was reminded the other day of the egg-in-plastic-wrap-poach method.
       
    • By pastrygirl
      Anyone have a favorite recipe for chocolate cake using semisweet chocolate?  My usual chocolate cake recipe uses cocoa, but I have some samples of chocolate I want to use up for a workplace party.  Yes, I could make brownies or ganache frosting, or chocolate mousse or chocolate chunk cookies, just feeling like cake this weekend ...
    • By Beckykp27
      I'm trying to make bonbons with milk shells for the first time and I'm struggling. When I melt my milk chocolate it is really thick. Is this normal? I'm pretty sure humidity is not an issue. I'm concerned that my shells wont empty out well and I'll be left with no room for ganache. I tried adding some cocoa butter last time but it affected the flavor. 
       
      Disclaimer: I'm using pretty cheap milk chocolate (Ghirardelli) cuz I'm still learning. If you think this is the only issue please let me know.
    • By MSRadell
      GE is entering the SV field in an innovative way. They are doing a crowdfunding approach through one of their Innovation technology centers. The device itself is also innovative in that it uses a Inductive cooktop for the heating element with a wireless temperature sensor. It's also unique in that it does not include any type of water circulation.
       
      Here's a link to the crowdfunding site: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/paragon-induction-cooktop/
       
      What does everybody think about this entry into the field? If nothing else it certainly shows that SV has gotten the attention of major appliance makers. A few weeks ago GE also announced that one of their new lines of stoves will have the same type of temperature control as this device uses so you can do SV on your stovetop.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...