Why You Should Sell Fresh Popcorn in Your Store

This item is brought to you by Gold Medal Products Co.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Convenience retailers are constantly looking for innovative ways to increase foot traffic to their stores — and increase sales — while consumers are always looking for something new.

According to data from NACS State of the Industry, in-store sales at convenience stores grew at a whopping 8.7% year-on-year rate to $277.9 billion in 2021. The increase was primarily due to an 18.2% increase in foodservice sales. Foodservice is a traffic driver in C-stores, and gourmet fresh popcorn is trending and can attract customers.

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The ready-to-eat popcorn/caramel corn category was up 12.1% with total sales of $1.8 billion, according to data from IRI for the 52 weeks ended May 18, 2022.

Additionally, popcorn popped on site adds to the in-store sensory experience for customers. They can see the popcorn, smell the aroma, and in some cases hear the popcorn being popped, further enticing them to grab a bag. Retailers can earn up to 70% to 90% gross margin on gourmet fresh popcorn, according to Gold Medal Products Co., a food equipment supplier that offers contactless commercial popcorn machines.

“The fresh product adds to the experiential aspect of shopping in-store,” said Adam Browning, President of Gold Medal. “It appeals to all the senses. Customers can see, hear, smell and taste freshly popped popcorn.”

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Customization is also trending, and Gold Medal offers a range of shake-on flavors so customers can make the popcorn their own creation. Flavors include the classics like caramel and cheddar cheese, but Gold Medal also offers trendy, exciting flavors like bacon and cheese, dill pickle, churro, lemon pie, and hot Guadalajara sauce.

“In convenience stores, we think the best place for the shakers is right next to the popper, so customers can shake it up with different flavors in a similar way to coffee creamers,” Browning said. “This is where customers can get creative, mix and match flavors to customize their popcorn.”

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Find out why Gold Medal’s contactless self-serve popcorn machines can be the ideal convenience store setup in Thursday’s NACS Daily.

This is the first in a two-part NACS Daily series on how gourmet fresh popcorn is a gross profit generator and traffic driver for C-stores. Learn more about Gold Medal Products Co. by downloading the company’s convenience store e-book, The Snack Factor.

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