Name of Product: PopCorners
Available at: See http://www.popcorners.com/
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While in the shops one day picking up some junk food to munch on, MC came over to me and said “let’s have a look at the chippies.” Knowing about his (not-so-secret) chips addiction, I suggested we skip the chips aisle and head over the counter. He insisted I “just come over and have a look” and led me to the aisle where I saw what had made him so interested: PopCorners. Of course popcorn-loving MC was going to want to try the new popcorn chips! I too was intrigued by them and agreed that as long as he promised not to eat the whole packet in one day, we could get them. He agreed and the offending chippies were purchased!
PopCorners come in a very funky black and white package with various different colours depending on the flavour. The packaging is similar to that of any other chip (such as Kettle, Grainwaves etc) in that it has similar sized packaging and uses a foil package for freshness. The front of the packet is quite simple and shows the name of the company, the logo: “the new shape of popcorn”, the flavour, and some extra information.
The back of the packet contains a blurb about PopCorners, nutritional information, contact information and some details of other available flavours (Caramel sounds yum!!!).
PopCorners are currently made with genetically modified corn (GMO corn). GM whole foods are not available in Australia but are present in imported products such as this. The fact that they are genetically modified means that gene products, which may be used in the early stage of the production process to add nutrients or ensure a longer shelf life etc, may remain in the food. While genetic modification can have some benefits for the environment, e.g. by reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides, they may have some unknown health effects. For more information see here.
A 28 gram serving of PopCorners contains 120 calories, with a total fat content of 3.5 grams. In the same serving there is 280 mg of sodium (salt) and 21 grams of carbohydrate.
The package also claims to be gluten free, have no preservatives, no artificial colours and no artificial flavours. However, “enzyme-modified butter” and “dehydrated butter” might as well be artificial as it is can’t exactly be called natural!
The actual chip itself is in the shape of a Dorito or CC’s, which seems to imply that PopCorners are a new type of corn chip. The chip is quite lumpy and looks a little bit like a thin rice cake. The butter flavour which we tried was yellowish in colour from the flavouring.
The taste is quite interesting. At first I wasn’t sure I liked it as it had a very salty and “fake butter” sort of flavour. It is also quite dry in the mouth and the salty buttery taste contributes to that dryness.
The actual popcorn chip itself was like a rice cake, which I enjoy, with a similar flavour and the same texture. Those who aren’t big fans of rice cakes (such as my brother) would probably not be a huge fan of this. That said, there are a variety of different flavours which could appeal to those who think rice cakes a bland or boring.
As I had a few more PopCorners I became more used to the flavour and began to like them more and more. The buttery flavour is quite strong at first but after a few chips, becomes less intesne.
Overall, this is an interesting new product which provides an alternative to regular chips. It is a mix between the taste of popcorn and rice cakes and the shape of Doritos and claims to be “healthier” than regular chips, like Grainwaves.
The butter flavour takes some getting used to but once you do it is quite nice. As far as health goes, it is probably no better than regular popcorn (especially homemade air popped corn).