Entrepreneur Deepak Kanda set up Punjabi Popcorn in January this year in a bid to liven up a bland and tiresome popcorn segment, he said.
The company has debuted a line of seven popcorns at Snaxpo 2013 that include some typical east-Indian flavors like cumin, turmeric and dersi spice along with other more common flavors like butter and caramel set to act as 'entry flavors' for the curious consumer.
For the time being the products are manufactured out of a rented kitchen space but the owner of the start-up has big plans for business.
“These are brand new flavors and the portfolio combines authentic east-Indian flavors with an American past-time; popcorn,” Kanda told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“Popcorn is easy and fun to eat and brings you back to childhood memories,” he said.
The popcorn segment has continued to grow in the US, he said, fuelled by the continued consumer quest for healthy snack alternatives – making it a profitable sector for business.
According to an IBISWorld report, the US popcorn market is set to surge to $1.1bn over the next five years at a growth rate of around 2.1% each year.
Ethnic flavors – a burning desire?
Kanda said that there is also a clear consumer desire to experiment with new flavors – particularly ethnic – and Punjabi Popcorn should fit nicely with this sentiment.
Large global flavor specialists including Kalsec, Symrise and Kerry Ingredients are among the many companies that have identified opportunities and soaring demands for ethnic flavors, especially Hispanic and Asian inspired tastes.
“I want to draw consumers in who are curious. The popcorn line is something new, fun and tantalizing for the taste buds,” he said.
In addition to popcorn products Punjabi Popcorn also has bottled spices that can be used in a wide variety of food applications including snacks, meats, seafood and vegetables.