You would have to have been living under a stone for the last few years to have missed the explosion in the popularity of popcorn in the UK. What was once a treat reserved for cinema visits, has in recent times become a staple on the supermarket aisle, alongside the nation’s favourite, crisps. |
But while popcorn is now no longer an unusual snack, it has, of late, been getting some rather unusual flavourings. While most of us never looked beyond the question, ‘sugar or salt’, there have been some innovative popcorn producers who have realised that the simple popped corn makes a perfect base for a range of delicious flavours.
Breaking New Ground
Back in 2010, at a time when popcorn was still an unusual snack to see people eating in the UK, Joe (of Joe & Seph’s) visited America and discovered that there, popcorn makers were going beyond sugar and salt to introduce a range of different flavours.
Joe came back and set about creating Joe & Seph’s, a family-run business specialising in gourmet popcorn. Gourmet, not just because its range of flavours included things like camembert and Thai peanut satay, but because he wanted his popcorn to be carefully handmade using a healthier, tastier air-popped method.
Whilst Joe was the innovator, he knew his limits and hired a team of pastry chefs to come up with a range of delicious flavours (40 so far!) including everything from ‘salted caramel’ and ‘honey and toasted sesame’ to ‘Marmite’ and ‘strawberries and cream’.
All based in the UK, the small team of chefs got together to not only come up with some new, delectable flavours using only natural ingredients, but also to introduce an innovative ‘flavour sequencing process’. The unique combination of flavours means that as you are eating this unusual snack, the flavours subtly develop and change, stimulating different areas of your palate.
The innovation and care Joe & Seph have put into its UK-made popcorn has not gone unnoticed. The brand has won a raft of awards for its gourmet, flavoured popcorn. To date, more than half of their delicious popcorn products have been awarded Great Taste Awards and the leading retail magazine The Grocer has given the popcorn producers a Gold award.
Following its success in the popcorn sector, Joe & Seph have also now expanded the brand to include a range of sweet sauces. The sauces are based on the popular flavourings of the popcorn but this time they are available in a jar to add a sweet treat to anything from ice cream and baking to pancakes and sandwiches.
The inspiration for the brand came from an individual who had the foresight, and business sense, to take something as commonplace as popcorn and turn it into a quality, delicious – if a little unusual – snack.
The secret to the success of Joe & Seph is that the owners took the time to really work out how to add a quality, gourmet element to their popcorn, creating something very different in a market where things were very static. Now, people are queuing up to experience this delicious gourmet treat.
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established providers of wholesale chocolates, confectionery and unusual snacks. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any sweet display.
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