Corn Puffs vs Popcorn
You're familiar with traditional popcorn, but have you heard of puffy popcorn? It's very likely you have, although it can go by several different names. Sometimes it's called puffcorn, sometimes corn puffs.
Corn puffs have similar components to traditional popcorn: corn being the key ingredient here. However, corn puffs are prepared differently which gives them an entirely different texture.
They're an excellent complement to your existing popcorn section. In fact, numbers show that corn puffs sell just as well as popcorn. This year, over 6.5 million bags of corn puffs were sold to our retail customers at Lehi Valley! A combination of better-for-you ingredients, diversity of flavors, and unique texture make these crunchy snacks a wonderful offering for your customers.
How are corn puff snacks made?
Corn puffs are made using a method called "extrusion." Instead of using whole corn kernels, as with traditional popcorn, corn puffs begin with cornmeal. The cornmeal is mixed with water and extruded, or pushed, through a machine to form the basic shape. Pressure and heat causes the water to turn to steam, which makes the snack puff up. Then, a rotating knife cuts it into bite-sized pieces.
A couple weeks ago, we posted an article about how Snackworthy corn puffs snacks are made. Check it out if you'd like a more detailed look into the process.
What are the advantages of corn puffs?
You may be wondering, why should I add corn puffs to my snack set, when I've already got popcorn? Here are a few reasons why corn puffs are on trend with customers right now:
1. Better-for-you options appeal to consumers.
According to Forbes, customers are currently seeking better-for-you products. There is an increasing interest in snacks that are nutrious, as well as delicious. Puff snacks can satisfy both requirements!
For example, Lehi Valley's signature puff snacks are:
- Baked, not fried
- Free from 100+ unworthy ingredients
When you merchandize corn puffs in your store, consider calling out these nutritional attributes to your shoppers. (We also print them directly on the bag for easy reference.) Having these attributes close-at-hand can help persuade customers into a purchase. They'll feel confident in knowing that their food is prepared with wholesome ingredients.
2. Corn puffs are available in a variety of tasty flavors.
"...textures and flavors will continue to drive trends in this market segment."
Puffed and extruded snacks finds diversity in flavors and base ingredients, Snack Food & Wholesale Baker
Currently, the cheesy corn puff (such as the wildly popular Cheetos) dominates the puff segment. However, consider a clean alternative, which appeals to the customers' desire for better-for-you products. Stepping up to fill that role are Simply White Cheddar Puffs.
Furthermore, we have seen studies that indicate that spicy flavors are trending. (Take a look at our article Spicy Nuts Trending to read more about that specifically.) In that case, we'd like to introduce you to Simply White Cheddar Puffs with Jalapeño.
That said, puffs are not limited to savory flavors! There are plenty of flavors on the other side of the salty-sweet spectrum that pair wonderfully with corn puffs.
With this broad repetoire of options, puffs are an excellent option for introducing diversity of flavors into your snack set.
3. Some people prefer a different texture than popcorn.
Not everyone enjoys the texture of popcorn. Perhaps they're turned off by the notion of getting a kernel stuck in their teeth or biting down on an unpopped kernel. Puffs are ideal for appealing to this segment of the population.
Puffcorn snacks have a uniform and consistent texture with no kernels. This means you can snack away without a stash of emergency dental floss at the ready.
Okay, so what's next?
To be absolutely clear - Lehi Valley is good at both popcorn and puffs. That's why we have a robust selection available of classic popcorn and specialty popcorn. In fact, our featured recipe of the month is how to make your own Holiday Specialty Popcorn. Don't let this article fool you into believing we're not all about popcorn. The ideal snacking scenario (aka "Snack Nirvana") would include both traditional popcorn and corn puffs!
However, when you're deciding which snacks to stock in your store, we enourage you to consider corn puffs as well as traditional popcorn.
If the decision is stumping you, reach out to Lehi Valley. Our team of snack experts are knowledgeable about the latest trends and strategies for snack merchandizing. They'll be happy to advise you on which items are best suited for your business. You can also request free samples so you can experience Snackworthy firsthand.
Simply Sea Salted Caramel Puffs
Simply Sea Salted Caramel Puffs are uniquely delicious, light and crispy puffcorn snacks that are coated with a decadent caramel and bold sea salt coating. Even sweeter, they’re gluten free and baked not fried!Baked, not fried Gluten Free No artificial ingredients