Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Sarah McDowell, president of Opopop, about how the brand got its start, and current trends in popcorn.
Liz Parker: How does Opopop redefine traditional popcorn?
Sarah McDowell: In June 2021, Opopop took the market by storm with its first product, the world’s first Flavor Wrapped Popcorn Kernels. They are the first-ever, pre-flavored raw popcorn kernels. By wrapping each raw kernel in the exact right amount of seasoning, the experience is unlike any other microwave popcorn.
Opopop comes in a variety of classic and unexpected flavors like Fancy Butter, Maui Heat, and Salted Umami. It also plays with Limited Edition flavors like Wasabi. Opopop focuses on unique flavor profiles and improved packaging design specifically, but it also have a commitment to quality and on-demand manufacturing. Built from the ground up, everything in its portfolio has originated under one roof.
LP: What was the inspiration for the brand?
SM: Opopop was inspired by the lack of innovation in popcorn. In fact, the last major innovation in popcorn was microwave popcorn in 1981.
Opopop was founded with an ambitious goal: to completely transform the popcorn category using radical design and innovation to reinvigorate consumers’ love for one of the greatest natural snacks of all time.
The name Opopop is borrowed from the Greek word Opallios, meaning “to see a change of color." This truly aligns with its mission to reawaken this sleepy category.
LP: How is Opopop disrupting the industry?
SM: Opopop is one of the fasted growing popcorn companies on the market. In the first 6 months in business, it shipped over 45,000 packages to 4,100 US cities.
Opopop is focused on delivering excellent and unexpected flavors. Fan-favorite flavors include Maui Heat, Chedapeno, Cinnalicious, Salty Caramel, and Fancy Butter.
It's carried at premium retailers including Foxtrot nationwide, Williams and Sonoma, and Nordstrom.
LP: What’s next for the brand in 2022 and beyond?
SM: In January 2022, Opopop launched its second product, Peel + Pour Popcorn Cups, which are a snackable-sized treat in an interactive package and was met with instant success.
Simply put, this brand invented not one but two entirely new products in less than 8 months. The microwave popcorn category is now distinct because of Opopop.
It also plays with limited edition flavors like Wasabi, which launched in April 2022, and are planning seasonal flavors launching in summer and for the holiday season.