GourmetPopcornPopcorn has been the perfect anytime, healthy snack for more than 4,000 years. But now, new flavor sensations are taking over the nation and consumers are craving twists to this whole grain treat. That’s why gourmet popcorn is the 2013 Food Trend, popping up everywhere like: specialty shops, food trucks, weddings, fundraising drives, and restaurants.

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams recently featured the tasty gourmet popcorn trend, calling the booming business “bursting.”  CBS News had a piece in February, “Popcorn, the snack that saved the movies” and featured Gold Medal equipment popping up profits.

Countless other food industry sources, media outlets, bloggers, and social networking sites have been raving about the the rich buttery flavor of classic caramel corn, white cheddar truffle, raspberry, and gourmet toppings like real gold.

Popcorn, in general, also has appealing health benefits. It’s one of the reasons Publicis Consultants USA and other trend analysis groups called popcorn a 2012 Food Trend. Studies have shown fiber-rich popcorn has higher levels of healthy antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables.

Popcorn is “the perfect snack food,” Joe Vinson, PhD, professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton, said. His study found popcorn is the only snack that is 100% unprocessed whole grain, and the average person only eats about half a serving of whole grains a day.

Before the passion for popcorn reached fever pitch, Americans consumed 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. Imagine what the records will show now as they re-discover the classic crunch of caramel or cheddar cheese. Or tempt their taste buds with new flavor combinations.

About Gold Medal: The company hired its first employee in 1933 and now employs more than 375 people across 11 locations, including its manufacturing headquarters in Cincinnati, OH, and distributes worldwide. It’s a privately held, family-run company that puts the fun into foods. Thanks to revolutionary advances and quality products, Gold Medal is the worldwide leader for concession equipment and supplies.

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