Quinn shakes up the snacks space with regeneratively grown pop-at-home corn kernels

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Quinn's Family Farmed Pop-at-Home Kernels are grown by Steve McKaskle, who has been integrating regenerative farming principles on his land for the past three decades. Pic: Quinn
Quinn's Family Farmed Pop-at-Home Kernels are grown by Steve McKaskle, who has been integrating regenerative farming principles on his land for the past three decades. Pic: Quinn

Related tags Quinn Snacks regenerative agriculture Popcorn Sustainable packaging

Aligned to its mission to make a real change by forging partnerships with farmers working to advance regenerative agriculture, Quinn Snacks is relaunching its pop-at-home kernels, grown by a fifth generation farmer and soil health pioneer.

The mission-driven Colarado producer only uses ingredients from its network of farmer partners who adopt practices to support soil health and reduce carbon emissions. The Boulder-based company even backs its claim by publishing its Ingredient Transparency Policy​ online.

Force for good

Quinn Pop-at-Home Kernels

Now it’s taking that mission a step further, with the relaunch of Family Farmed Pop-at-Home Kernels, grown and packaged on the McKaskle Family Farm in Braggadocio, Missouri, today under the leadership of fifth-generation Steve McKaskle, who has been integrating regenerative farming principles on his land for close on 30 years.

What is regenerative agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture puzzle fotojog
Pic: GettyImages

Regenerative agriculture includes practices like minimising soil disturbance (no-till farming and rotational grazing), maximising biodiversity (mixed crop rotation and cover cropping) and reducing synthetic inputs (the application of compost and manure).

Sustainable practices, by definition, seek to maintain the same, whereas regenerative practices applies management techniques to restore natural systems to reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.

“We have always believed transparency is the most powerful force for good in the food system. Partnering with the McKaskle family has given us the opportunity to share everything about where and how our popcorn kernels are grown and packaged,”​ said Kristy Lewis, founder and chief visionary officer of Quinn.

Pollution-reduced packaging

Taking the climate-smart principle further, Quinn’s Pop-at-Home Kernels are packaged less than a quarter mile from the farm in a 35% post-consumer recycled pouch.

In December 2021, Quinn was selected to participate in the Boulder County Food & Beverage Pollution-Reduced Packaging Pilot, an EPA-funded pilot programme assisting the transition to pollution-reduced and sustainable packaging formats.

Through this pilot, Quinn worked with experts at packaging and sustainability consultancy RRS to evaluate the environmental impact of the previous multi-layer gable top carton packaging and identify lower impact alternatives. This ultimately guided the transition to a 35% post-consumer recycled stand-up pouch.

While the previous carton could be recycled in some curbside programmes, the transition to the lighter weight pouch resulted in an approximately 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through its lifecycle.

"Food and beverage manufacturers have a critical role to play in tackling the climate crisis,” ​said Boulder County director of Sustainability, Climate Action and Resilience Susie Strife.

“We’re thrilled to see Quinn’s innovation and leadership in this space as they integrate their learnings from the pilot into developing more sustainable packaging.”

Quinn is known for its industry firsts – world’s first microwave popcorn in a patented compostable paper bag with no chemical or plastic coatings; the first wholegrain gluten-free pretzel; and the first and only gluten-free filled pretzel nuggets. These Pop-at-Home Kernels are certainly up there, too.

A 28oz pouch of Pop-at-Home Kernels is available online, along with a new seasonal Popcorn Bundle, which contains the 28oz pouch, 9 popcorn seasoning packets and a microwavable popper.

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