The popcorn company BjornQorn is setting a precedent in the food industry by using solar energy as its main energy source for food production.
Bjorn Quenemoen, co-founder of the company, comes from a Minnesota corn-farming family and wanted to pay homage to that by starting a popcorn business, FoodNavigator-USA reported.
Quenemoen teamed up with his friend Jamie O’Shea, who was in the process of developing a solar-powered cooking mechanism to eventually bring to developing countries. Together, they started selling sun-popped corn in the spring of 2013.
The company uses solar energy in the form of dishes and solar panels.
“For our pilot plant, which is still operating in the Hudson Valley, we use an experimental solar system where we have giant hemispheric dishes that we install in the ground [with] reflecting material,” Quenemoen told FoodNavigator-USA. This method transforms light into heat and pops the kettles, which are painted black to help absorb the light.
The solar panels are used to produce product in a larger scale. Due to a spike in popularity for the brand and its renewable energy resources, the business increased by around 90 percent compared to sales in 2015.
“It’s not super energy-intensive to pop popcorn, but we think that what we do as a food company, by utilizing solar energy, can be a model for other companies out there,” Quenemoen said.