We’re big snackers in my household. I know many other people feel the same way; whether it’s that time in the afternoon a few hours after lunch, but still a few hours before dinner, or after dinner when you just have to have something. When looking for a healthy snack, I point my family toward popcorn. It’s low in carbs, has protein and fiber, and best of all, it yummy!
Popcorn has been around for a while, and naturally there are many interesting facts associated with this tasty snack.
Popcorn Facts And Figures
According to factretriever.com:
- Americans eat around 17 billion quarts of popcorn every year.
- Nebraska produces an estimated 250 million pounds of popcorn per year—more than any other state. This is equivalent to a quarter of all the popcorn the United States produces every year.
- Popcorn kernels can pop up to 3 feet in the air.
- There are about 1,600 popcorn kernels in 1 cup.
- Popped popcorn comes in two shapes: “snowflake” or “mushroom.” Because “snowflake” shaped popcorn is bigger, movie theaters typically sell that shape.
- A kernel of popcorn contains just a small amount of water. When these kernels are heated, the water turns to steam and the kernels “pop.” Popcorn is different than many other grains because its shell is not water permeable, making it possible for pressure to build up until the kernel finally explodes.
- Unpopped popcorn should not be stored in the refrigerator. The refrigerator will dry out the moisture in the kernels. Without the moisture, popcorn will not pop. The ideal place to store popcorn is in a cool, dry cupboard.
- Approximately 70% of popcorn sold in America is eaten in the home. The other 30% is eaten in theaters, stadiums, school, etc.
- American businessman Charles Cretors invented large-scale commercial popcorn machines in 1893. His was the first automated machine that could pop popcorn in its own seasonings uniformly.
- While other businesses failed during the Great Depression, the popcorn business thrived. Popcorn sold at around 5 to 10 cents a bag, making it one of the more affordable (and possibly lifesaving) treats for poor families.
- Because sugar was strictly rationed during WWII, candy was not plentiful. Consequently, Americans ate three times as much popcorn during this time as usual.
- Orville Redenbacher began to grow popping corn in 1919, when he was just 12 years old.
- Popcorn has been sold in theaters since 1912. It has been a big money maker not only because popcorn is overpriced, but also because people usually get thirsty and, consequently, buy sodas or water as well.
- In movie theaters, for every dollar spent on popcorn, about 90 cents is profit.
Popular Popcorn Flavors
Besides being a yummy and healthy snack, popcorn can come in a wide variety of flavors (OK, some of these may not be as healthy …). According to b1039.com, these are some of the most popular popcorn flavors:
- Classic butter and salt
- White cheddar
- Caramel corn
- Kettle corn
- Regular cheddar
- “Turtle” popcorn (popcorn covered with chocolate)
- “Zebra” popcorn (It’s kind of like “turtle” popcorn, but has chocolate AND white chocolate drizzled on top)
Are you a popcorn person? If so, what type of popcorn do you like best? Tell us by leaving a comment in the section below.
That very question was asked in our most recent Instant Poll (our Instant Polls can be found on the NCP website). There, 74% said buttered, 11% said flavored-sweet, 10% said plain, and 5% said flavored-savory.
Have a great weekend and enjoy your popcorn!
- It’s National Pretzel Day! (April 26, 2021)
- What Are American’s Favorite Cookies (June 16, 2020)