Remember when popcorn was just popped corn? If we wanted popcorn, we had to pop it ourselves (or head over to the movie theater), and there was only one flavor available: butter. But today, with dozens of companies selling pre-popped flavored popcorn, the flavor possibilities are literally endless. These are some of the wildest ones out there.
We’re living in an era of big, bold snack flavors. Snack companies used to be afraid of making their products spicy or flavored with outside-the-box ingredients due to the risk of alienating the consumer, but not anymore; nowadays, they’re all racing each other to see who can create the wildest flavors. From red curry and sriracha-flavored potato chips to “Jacked” Doritos in flavors like Ranch Dipper Hot Wings and Spicy Street Taco, the new snack flavors available make it clear that we’re in a brave new world.
According to a 2014 study in global snacking habits by Nielsen, popcorn is the 10th most popular snack in North America, with 43 percent of respondents claiming to have eaten it in the past 30 days. The popcorn market is huge, so it’s easy to understand why snack companies (and consumers) are looking for alternatives to staid standbys like butter, Cheddar, caramel, and kettle corn. And increasingly, snack companies (many of which are startups) are rising up to meet the challenge.
So read on to learn about 15 crazy popcorn flavors, most of which can be ordered online, from 11 different companies. Some of these may be an acquired taste, others are brilliant creations that you won’t believe you never thought of before, and a few may have you simply scratching your head.