Binge-watching drove sales of popcorn to a new high for Popcorn & Company, helping it to easily surpass its full-year sales in FY20 in just six months
Popcorn is the most consumed snack worldwide, with Americans alone consuming about 17 billion kilos of popcorn each year. And now, from the looks of it, Indians too have taken to munching the snack seriously. With theatres shut, youngsters have taken to consuming the snack in large amounts while binge-watching movies and TV programmes on video-streaming platforms.
Popcorn & Company (PnC) has the numbers to show just how Indians have taken to consuming popcorn. The company has sold 1.6 lakh tins of popcorn so far during the lockdown.
In the first six months of FY21, PnC has registered total sales of Rs 2.86 crore. To put that number in context, digest this: during the whole of financial year 2019-20, the company had posted sales of Rs 2.20 crore.
PnC offers handcrafted gourmet popcorn with over fifty varieties of global as well as Indian flavours. The popcorn is priced between Rs 175-750, depending on the size of the tin.
For instance, a 50 gm tin of PnC Cheese Corn Popcorn is available on Amazon for Rs 175, while a 130 gm tin of wholegrain red velvet popcorn is sold at Rs 249.
PnC competes with brands such as PVR 4700 BC Gourmet Popcorn in the ready-to-eat space.
The popcorn market
In recent times, the Indian gourmet popcorn market has witnessed robust growth, as there has been a shift towards munching healthier snacks.
The concept of having healthy gourmet popcorn has gained momentum among popcorn consumers, thus driving the gourmet popcorn market to grow at a CAGR of 36 percent so far during the 2016-2022 period, Vikas Suri, Founder, Popcorn & Company (PnC), told Moneycontrol.
In India, the popcorn market was worth Rs 2,040 crore by the end of 2017, he added.
Online sale boom
PnC recorded most of its lockdown sales on online platforms. “A significant part of our sales came from various e-commerce and food-delivery platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, Swiggy & Zomato,” said Suri.
With uncertainty over a Covid vaccine, Suri expects similar growth of around 30-40 percent in sales for the rest of year, which is largely expected to come from online channels.
PnC will soon be tying up with grocery apps like Grofers and Big Basket to sell its products.
Suri founded the company in 2017 and currently has three retail stores in New Delhi/NCR and Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram.
Why the demand?
Suri said youngsters in the age group of 17 to 34 are buyers of popcorn.
The pandemic has changed life, with people staying indoors because of lockdowns or to avoid contracting the disease.
Theatres are shut but OTT platforms have taken over and movie night plans have increased because of the heightened interest in digital content. Consumption of snacks while watching programmes has surged, and consequently, so has demand for popcorn, says Suri.
A survey of 3,000 respondents by Velocity MR, a market research and analysis company, reveals that 73 percent of the people surveyed said they were watching Hotstar and YouTube, while Amazon Prime and Netflix saw subscriptions rise by 67 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
The company will soon be launching a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) popcorn kit.
Besides retail sales, PnC will also be focussing on franchise sales within India and parts of West Asia and South East Asia.He also said the company is in final talks for franchises in cities such as Colombo, Male, Kathmandu, Johannesburg as well as in Turkey.