One of the healthiest snacks that someone can eat is popcorn. It is safe for people who have a number of dietary sensitivities, is low in calories, and yet still tastes great! On the other hand, popcorn can be one of the sweetest, tastiest treats in your pantry when you’ve got some that is drizzled with chocolate, caramel, or even butterscotch. Having been a Chicago tradition for several decades, this snack could become the perfect franchise opportunity for you, right?
After all, with popcorn popped in small batches, in old-fashioned copper kettles, using a secret family recipe with every batch handmade, you’d be creating a tasty treat that everyone would enjoy!
Garretts Popcorn Is Not Currently Offering Franchises
Popcorn might be one of America’s favorite snacks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that lots of people are running to popcorn stores to purchase it. Garretts Popcorn offers 11 locations in the United States for purchasing their product, with 10 of them being located in the Chicago area. There is one additional location in Manhattan.
What the popcorn industry has realized is that moving to catalogs and an online e-commerce presence has been a better business model than the franchise model. It isn’t just Garrett’s Popcorn that has realized this: for example, Dale and Thomas Popcorn, a Colorado company that was based in the Englewood area, opened their doors in 2004 and had visions of having 3,000 franchises in the first decade. In just 5 years, this popcorn company completely shut down all retail operations and is focusing on their e-commerce efforts.
What this means is that instead of operating a Garretts Popcorn franchise, it is very feasible for anyone to start their own popcorn cart or store and create their own brand in their own community. You basically need a kettle, some electricity, and some popcorn and then you’re ready to make some sales! The beauty of the modern popcorn business is that it is completely self-contained, which means you can get your product on the market quickly, control it yourself, and have an extreme ROI on a number of different flavors and offerings.
Healthy Snacks Provide a Strong Market Share
For the last 10 years, healthier snacks have been showing slow and steady progress in the market shares that they dominate. The days of the healthy snack being a niche product are almost gone completely! That’s why becoming a Garretts Popcorn franchisee if the opportunity ever presents itself would be a wise business decision indeed! That’s because popcorn that has butter flavoring often has fewer than 70 calories per cup. Even the sweeter flavors come in at less than 80 calories per cup in many instances.
In addition to the popularity of the product, selling popcorn comes with a fairly stable base product price point. Even though the prices of corn have been rising in recent years because of increased usage, corn kernels have been priced with stability even with added popularity. In the last 4 decades, popcorn sales have actually tripled!
Part of this reason is because popcorn tends to be appearing on lists of popular foods across the internet and in many print publications. Because of a current emphasis to eliminate gluten from diets and prevent other allergies from flaring up, popcorn quickly pops to the top of the list of available snacks because of its versatility. You can eat it plan. You can put butter or cheese on it. You can even put savory seasonings on it if you want for a great snack!
It’s Not Just Snack Shops That Are Serving Popcorn
You might see a lot of emphasis on popcorn in catalogs and stores like those that Garretts Popcorn has, but the popularity of this great snack has turned it into a gourmet item at fine dining establishments as well. Imagine having a popcorn dish that is infused with truffles as your main dish, or perhaps a bacon caramel popcorn appetizer! That’s the reality of the popcorn world today and this popularity, although it does ebb and flow, is currently at a place where a local investment into your own popcorn brand makes sense.
The payoff is the value that you can provide your customers with your final product. If a serving of popcorn is one cup, then a large bag of popcorn that someone can purchase for $5 is providing them with 9 servings of this snack at just over $0.50 per serving. That’s competitively priced with other snacks that you’d pick up from a vendor and is often cheaper than the average candy bar or bag of potato chips.
A Healthier Snack Comparison
That means people can get a healthier snack from you for less than the cost of a high calorie, unhealthy snack.
That’s why a Garretts Popcorn franchise would be such a lucrative opportunity if the investment was available to make! Popcorn is also a tremendous fundraising opportunity for local non-profits or tax exempt organizations to make ends meet, which could give your start-up local brand of popcorn some additional exposure. You could also partner with specific organizations like Garretts does in the Chicagoland area to increase brand awareness and accept donations on their behalf.
To sum it all up, popcorn can help you start your own business, work your own hours, and give you unlimited potential. It also gives you the chance to change your community, network with others, and really make a difference! Even though Garretts Popcorn is privately owned and not franchising at this moment, keep your eye out for future opportunities in this field because there is a lot of potential in popcorn.
And, if you choose not to wait for a franchising opportunity to get started, the overhead costs to begin are extremely low. Get your kettle, plug it in, and start popping away!