Stiff British Upper Lip Is Quivering For Popcorn
Britain was once a nation of crisp-munchers but that is changing now. Giving the potato chip a serious run for its money is the popcorn, quite an unlikely candidate but then, popcorn is the UK’s fastest growing snack. Believe it or not, the stiff British upper lip is trembling in joy, munching on the corn kernels and if you need more proof on that, read on.
1) Rising Sales
Popcorn is today the fastest growing snack in the UK, thanks to the rising status of home cinema and TV industry. This recent boon has resulted in a staggering 300% rise in the sales of popcorn in the last year, making the British popcorn market worth a giant £42 million. So, this means, with more and more British watching movies at home or in cinema, more and more popcorn will go down the throats. This also means that the poor old chips are losing out in the snack-race.
2) More Bags Are Selling
Tesco, one of the leading supermarket chains of the UK, has reportedly sold seven million extra bags of popcorn last year in comparison to the figures of the previous year. A buyer explains it, “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.” Buoyed by the growing stature of popcorn, Tesco has even decided to expand its range of popcorn flavors to five new tastes. These flavors are – plain, salty, sweet, sweet & salt, toffee, raspberry, chocolate brownie, and sweet jalapeno.
3) The Past & the Present
Popcorn first came to Britain just before the Second World War. It was the American firm Butterkist, which launched popcorn machines in British cinemas. Over the years in the 1950s’ decade, the popularity of cinema grew and so did the visits to the cinema, as a result of which, this snack began to be available in shops other than cinemas too. However, the popcorn still could not dethrone the chips. Not long ago, in 1997, the popcorn was to be banned at the Barbican Centre cinemas in London on the account of the fact that “the people who watch films here don’t feel they can concentrate, with all that munching going on.” In fact, just five years ago, the UK popcorn market was just one-tenth of the tortilla chip market. But with the quick rise in its fortunes, the popcorn is now worth about half of the tortilla market. This means that in the past 5 years, the UK popcorn industry has grown out of relative infancy and with more exotic flavors on the anvil, it is bound to grow further in the future.
4) The Health Benefits of Popcorn
In case the skeptics have any doubts about the benefits of munching popcorns, vis-à-vis other snacks, research suggests that you could actually gain from eating popcorn. Popcorns are believed to contain “surprisingly large” levels of polyphenols, antioxidants believed to boost health. Polyphenols are generally found in fruits and vegetables and when present in abundance in the body, these help prevent the risk of heart diseases as well as deadly diseases such as cancer. A study was carried out in the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, which established that eating popcorn as snack would be good to supply polyphenols to the body. The lead scientists on the study, Dr Vinson, said, “We really were surprised by the levels of polyphenols we found in popcorn. I guess it is because it’s not processed. You get all the wonderful ingredients of the corn undiluted and protected by the skin. In my opinion, it’s a good health food.”
Owing to the sweeping wave of snackoholism across Britain, popcorn is gaining respect among the plethora of snacks. Whether this rise in popularity would sustain the test of time or not remains to be seen. For now, here is why the popcorn is gaining popularity in Britain, even the squirrels can’t get enough of it.
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