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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:41 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:20 am
Posts: 31
By J.A. Ryan

At the recent convention in Chicago of the National Association of Popcorn Manufacturers, a prominent speaker said the retail value of popcorn sales in the United States reached teh stupendous figure of $186,000,000 in 1947. Truly this figure is stupendous. Whether or not it is correct, the fact remains popcorn has achieved a status which would be called "big business" in any industry.

Much of the growth of popcorn in public esteem has taken place in the past few years. Already popular among the American people in many parts of the country, it is now apparent that popcorn "has come to stay" and that it is destined to enjoy ever-widening acceptance thruout the United States and in foreign countries.

[B]People Like It[\B]
People like popdorn. They like the crisp, crunchy, zestful feel of the lightly-salted kernel in their mouths, its tantalizing flavor, the impression of delicious bulk without weight - and, moreover, they like the "muckle for a nickel," as the Scotsman would say, which means their full money's worth for the price of a box of popcorn. And whether it be served directly from the popping machine or from a warmer, they like their popcorn fresh and hot. Hearken to this and remember it, all ye who sell popcorn to the American Public!

The popcorn industry is suffering growing pains, as ins the case wth any product whose growth in popularity has been so phenomenal in such short time. Much has been done, and much remains to be done, in all channels of production and distribution, to bring to an eagerly-waiting public the finest possible popcorn in adequate quantities at reasonable cost and with fair profit to all.

The continuing research done by Iowa State and Purdue universities already has accomlished much in the development of hybrid types of popcorn, looking toward early maturity, weather resistance, tender, flavorful kernels and greater popping volume. The Popcorn Processors' Association is constantly striving for better methods of harvesting, curing, grading, storage, packaging and distribution. The National Association of Popcorn Manufacturers, with its ever-growing membership, has done yeoman service in the development of harmonious trade relations and practices among buyers and sellers of popcorn; better storage and handling methods at the final point of use and, above all, improvements in popping procedures, to the end that the product may reach the consumer in its finest form thru the combined and constructive efforts of all segments of the industry.

[B]Tester Developed[\B]
Not the least of the accomplishments of the National Association of Popcorn Manufacturers is the development, by one of its committees, in co-operaation with a committee of the Popcorn Processors' Association, of the official volume tester, a machine which measures the popping volume of popcorn. This machine eliminates the confusion, guesswork, and all too often, misrepresentation, in the important matter of popping volume so frequently encountered in the buying and selling of popcorn.

This association has fostered the development and use of the common, easily-obtained infra-red ray lamp for keeping popcorn hot and crisp after it is made. Its frequent bulletins on subjects of timely interest, and its popular monthly magazine, the Popcorn Merchandiser, keep members constantly informed of improvements in the industry. Anyone connected with the popcorn industry can become a member of the association, whose executive office is at 110 North Franklin Street, Chicago.

Little is known of the efforts of salt manufacturers to produce a finely grained salt, expecially for popcorn; of the box makers to provide paper boxes that will not transfer their flavor to the popcorn when packed; or of the popcorn machine manufacturers to make machines practical as well as beautiful to the eye, as nearly automatic in operation as can be devised and yet providing hot, crisp, delicious popcorn at the moment of sale.

[B]All Do Part[\B]
All of these unsung disciples of merican ingenuity have done their part in the quest for better popcorn. And to them should be added the manufacturer of seasoning, whose technical research and market surveys have produced liquid seasoning of domestic materials, so that never again need the popcorn industry be dependent on foreign oils, which may be cut off in case of war, as happened within recent memory. packed in small containers which are easy for operators to handle, liquid seasoning pours easily, measures qccurately, and needs no preheating or melting before use. It easily takes the high heat required in popping corn, so that best results can be obtained without worry about flash. This is truly a remakable contribution to better popcorn with los-cost operation.

But what of the individual corn popper, located in a theater lobby, amusement park stand or elsewhere? Too often, unfortunately, the best scientific efforts of those who precede him in the channel of distribution are frustrated. Whether this is due to his ignorance, carelessness or greed is of no consequence. It is worth observing in this connection that almost invariably the poorest popcorn is most expensivein the end and, in its effect on consumers, harmful to the entire industry.

Are the machine and attendant dirty in appearance? This is enough in itself to keep customers away. It is only from sales that profits can be calculated. I recently spoke to a man who had a popcorn machine on the sidewalk of a main streen in the large Midwest city, a manufacturing area where purchasing power is hihg and derived from skilled workers. He said business was poor; he didn't know what had happened to the popcorn business. One look at his machine and himself was enough to find the reason. He did not know the age of the machine; it was there when he bought the place eight years ago. Filthy in the extreme, it possibly never had been cleaned since he arrived. The popping mechanism was covered with a thick brown film, speckled with particles of chaff. The glass windows were dirty and the inside space half filled with popcorn that appeard to be mostly "old maids."

The man's personal appearance matched that of his popping machine. yes business was poor. One can only wonder how many customers were nauseated by the sight, and their appetite for popcorn lost by the time they arrived at a beautiful theater a few doors away, where the popcorn machine and attendant were attractive and tidy in appearance. ... ne&f=false

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