In recent years, the world has witnessed a remarkable surge in the popularity of gourmet popcorn. What was once a simple movie snack has transformed into a culinary delight, offering a wide array of flavours and textures to tantalise our taste buds. From luxury popcorn boutiques to artisanal popcorn brands like Popcorn Shed, the gourmet popcorn industry has experienced exponential growth. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating history of gourmet popcorn and explore the factors that have contributed to its rise in popularity.

The Origins of Popcorn

Popcorn has been enjoyed for centuries, dating back to ancient times. The oldest evidence of popcorn was discovered in the Bat Cave of central New Mexico, where remnants of popcorn ears were found, estimated to be around 4,000 years old. Native Americans were among the first to cultivate corn and discovered the art of popping it over open fires. Popcorn became an integral part of their diets and was also used in ceremonies and rituals.

Popcorn Emerges As A Snack

Traditionally, corn was popped over a fire and then lightly seasoned with salt or sugar, like Popcorn Shed's Mini Pop! range

The concept of popcorn as the beloved snack we know now, emerged in the 19th century. At the time, popcorn was primarily sold at fairs, carnivals, and circuses. Vendors would pop corn in large kettles and season it with flavours like salt, sugar, and butter. However, it wasn't until the late 1800s that the first commercial popcorn machines were invented, making it easier to produce and distribute popcorn on a larger scale.

Popcorn's Popularity Soars

Popcorn gained immense popularity during the Great Depression due to its affordability. Cinema theatres, looking for ways to attract customers during tough times, introduced popcorn as a snack option. The irresistible aroma and the satisfying crunch of freshly popped kernels quickly made it a favourite among cinemagoers. This association between popcorn and movies would prove instrumental in the snack's future success.

The Rise of Luxury Popcorn

Nowadays, gourmet popcorn makes up a significant portion of the global popcorn market, with flavours such as caramel and cheese, and colours such as Popcorn Shed's rainbow popcorn.

The turn of the 21st century witnessed a significant shift in the popcorn landscape. Traditional flavours gave way to more adventurous and exotic options, as entrepreneurs began experimenting with unique seasonings and ingredients. This marked the birth of luxury popcorn, or as we’d like to call it, gourmet popcorn. Artisanal producers like ourselves crafted small batches of popcorn using high-quality ingredients such as gourmet cheeses, fresh caramel, and premium chocolate. The elegant packaging and enticing flavours transformed popcorn from a humble snack into a luxury indulgence, perfect for gifting or savouring during special occasions. Take our gourmet popcorn gift tins for example. They are high quality, beautifully designed popcorn tins filled to the brim with gourmet popcorn in three delicious flavours. Perfect as a gift for fellow popcorn lovers, or to treat yourself to a bit of indulgence.

What is Gourmet Popcorn?

Gourmet popcorn is a premium type of popcorn that is crafted using high-quality ingredients and unique flavour combinations. Unlike traditional popcorn, which is often mass-produced and has limited seasoning options, gourmet popcorn is made in small batches and features a range of adventurous flavours. We have over 30 different ones! Popcorn Shed’s gourmet popcorn is made with non-GMO corn and natural ingredients, making it a healthier snack alternative. With its elegant packaging and customisable options, gourmet popcorn has become a popular gift and event snack choice. Did you know that Popcorn Shed do corporate and bespoke popcorn too? Whatever the occasion, event or requirement, we can provide you with the most luxurious and delicious treats.


The history of gourmet popcorn showcases its evolution from a simple, traditional snack to a sophisticated culinary delight. The combination of unique flavours, premium ingredients, and artisanal craftsmanship has propelled gourmet popcorn into the limelight of the snack industry. What was once primarily associated with movie theatres and fairs has now become a sought-after indulgence for food enthusiasts and those seeking a memorable snacking experience.

So, the next time you're craving a snack that's both indulgent and gourmet, consider treating yourself to the tantalizing world of gourmet popcorn. Indulge in its rich history, embrace its modern renaissance, and savour the delightful explosion of flavours that only gourmet popcorn can provide.

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