Recipes & Photos

Sales (unpopped popcorn)
1970353,000,000 1982 611,000,000 19941,080,760,000
1971363,000,000 1983618,000,000 19951,025,000,000
1972372,000,000 1984630,000,000 19961,068,255,000
1973383,000,000 1985670,000,000 19971,059,100,000
1974401,000,000 1986700,000,000 1998934,132,810
1975393,000,000 1987741,000,000 1999938,100,156
1976415,000,000 1988807,000,000 2000979,910,286
1977450,000,000 1989872,000,00020011,038,134,447
1978486,000,000 1990938,000,00020021,040,587,195
1979520,000,000 19911,031,800,000 2003983,965,094
1980568,000,000 19921,124,600,000 20041,009,436,378
1981 600,000,000 19931,158,000,000 20051,007,680,708

Americans consume 16 billion quarts of popped popcorn annually or 54 quarts per man, woman and child. It is one of the most wholesome and economical foods available.

Approximately 70 percent is eaten in the home (home popped and pre-popped) and about 30 percent outside the home (theaters, stadiums, schools, etc.). Unpopped popcorn accounts for approximately 90 percent of sales for home consumption.

Major popcorn producing states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.

The peak period for popcorn sales for home consumption is the fall. Sales remain fairly high throughout the winter months then taper off during the spring and summer. Popcorn is a popular snack with all age groups.

Popcorn Abroad
Most of the popcorn consumed throughout the world is grown in the United States. Although world-wide sales of popcorn are steadily increasing, Americans consume more popcorn than the citizens of any other country.

Popcorn Quality
Factors influencing popcorn quality include kernel moisture and expansion ratio, processing procedures, home storage and home handling.

To achieve the utmost in popability, the moisture content of popcorn should be from 13 percent to 14.5 percent; 13.5 percent is considered ideal. A moisture content over or under these percentages greatly reduces popability.

Processors consider the minimum expansion ratio for good popcorn to be 35 to 38 to one. However, some of today's improved hybrids will expand over 40 times.

Good popcorn should provide at least 98 percent popped kernels with well under two percent "spinsters" or unpopped kernels. Proper care at the processing level helps to assure this. Processors guard against contamination and other types of kernel damage which could lower popcorn quality.

Because home storage and handling can affect the moisture content of popcorn -- and therefore the popability -- opened packages of raw kernels should be stored in airtight containers until used. Stay away from storing popcorn in the refrigerator. Air inside a refrigerator contains very little moisture and can cause the popcorn to dry out.

Microwave Popcorn
In the early 1980's, microwave popcorn was born into the popcorn family. Today, more than 80% of U.S. consumers households own microwaves - that's over 73 million microwaves in homes alone! Outside of the home, people of all ages enjoy the taste of warm, freshly popped popcorn, too. With the time and preparation convenience microwavable popcorn offers, you can see popcorn "poppin' up" as an afternoon snack at work or afterschool, and in dormitories and hotel rooms. Microwavable popcorn also comes in a wide-variety of flavors including lowfat, extra butter, and gourmet to satisfy all appetites.

The Popcorn Board
The Popcorn Board is a non-profit organization funded by U.S. popcorn processors. The Board strives to raise the awareness of U.S. popcorn as a versatile, whole-grain snack via domestic and international marketing efforts.