It's Raining Popcorn: Healthy Packaged Popcorn Reviews

June 8, 2012   18 Comments

I could FILL a small baby pool with the popcorn that I have received to review. That's right, folks, I could swim in popcorn (or at least try).

Healthy Packaged Popcorn

Recently, popcorn has gotten some good press. The outer layers of the popcorn, including the hull, are good sources of protein, iron, and phosphorous. It is high in antioxidants, most notably, polyphenols – a group of natural plant chemicals that have a variety of health benefits.

I am an advocate for popcorn consumption because it is so much better for you than oil laden potato chips. My personal preference is to make my own popcorn (see: DIY Microwave Popcorn: Healthy, Yummy, and Cheap).

But, if you are running around and don't have time to make your own - these companies are all making great tasting versions of the bagged stuff. I happen to like all three of these smaller brands better than the Smartfood brand of popcorn.

My FAVORITE is Rocky Mountain Popcorn Company. They have a Jalapeno flavor which is out of this world. You have to watch your portion sizes a bit because some of the flavors (with cheese) have more calories than others - but I loved this popcorn as a grab and go snack.

You can find this popcorn in retail locations across the U.S. and Canada or you can order it online - Rocky Mountain Popcorn Online Store. Check out their Store Locator. A 3 ounce bag retails for $1.89.

Colby's Kettle Corn is so yummy! Colby has created the perfect combination of sweet and salty in his kettle corn AND there is only 105 calories in 1.5 cups including just 4 grams of sugar. This tastes like a BIG treat, but is actually just lightly seasoned. They also have a cinnamon sugar flavor that is delicious.

You can find this popcorn in the U.S. here: Colby's Kettle Corn Store Locator or purchase it from their online store: Colby's Kettle Corn Online Store.

Boom Chicka Pop is a newbie on the packaged popcorn scene. Oprah's blog recently recommended the stuff and Snack Girl will do the same. It is only 35 calories a cup and the sodium content for over 3 cups is 90 mg. Take that Doritos!

Here are the nutritional facts for 3 2/3 cup:

130 calories, 0.5 g fat, 17 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 3 g protein, 3 g fiber, 90 mg sodium, 2 Points+

You can buy a 5 ounce bag of Boom Chicka Pop for $3.99 at Boom Chicka Pop's Online Store. It will be in retail locations soon.

These products were received for review consideration. No other compensation was provided.

Other posts you might like:


DIY Microwave Popcorn: Healthy, Yummy, and CHEAP

Popcorn is a whole grain snack that is really low in calories and has that great crunch we crave. But, the packaged stuff in the supermarket is expensive and can be high in sodium....


Makeover Kettle Corn Into "Can Do" Corn

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Trader Joe's has an organic popcorn, that is air popped and then sprayed lightly with olive oil. It sells for $1.99 for a 5oz. bag. It is really yummy!

This (below) is probably more fitting for the DIY Microwave Popcorn blog entry, but I find that I usually need to eat A LOT of popcorn before I am sated and one of these bags would leave me merely wanting more, so here's my routine of late:

- Into a large glass bowl, I pour 1/4 cup of unpopped popcorn kernels.

- I cover said bowl with an inverted Corelleware (I think that's the name) dinner plate.

- I put the bowl and plate in the microwave and run it on high for 3.5 minutes.

- When it's done, everything will be incredibly hot, so I use a silicone oven mitt to remove the plate (I rest it on a stove burner to cool off) and the bowl (I set it on a pot holder).

- When it's cooled a little, I stir it around with my (clean!) fingers and enjoy!

I don't add salt or sugar or anything else; I find that the long-ish cooking time *almost* burns the popped kernels, giving them a nice flavor (well, to me, anyway!).

If I want to eat it on the run, I'll pour the popped kernels into a paper lunch bag and take it with me.

Oh, on sale, I can get a really big bag of kernels for two bucks and it'll last me a month or two.

I love any kind of popcorn.

Popcorn is my all-time favorite snack! Thanks for the reviews.

I was disappointed that I couldn't find an ingredients list anywhere on the Rocky Mountain Popcorn Company website.

I like making my own popcorn with an air-popper. My favorite lately has been to melt a little bit of butter and honey, pour it on top and add a little bit of salt. So yummy!

Ohhh, I want to try the jalapeno popcorn and the Boon Chick A Pop Popcorn. I love popcorn but haven't had it in so long!! These all look fantastic!!

Thank you, Lisa for the review, after looking at labels, it seems Boom chicka pop claims the most healthiest ingredients altho no organic ones; I believe corn to be the worst vegetable to enjoy due to GMO and pesticide use, the mass production for cheap animal feed/fuel use, etc., etc. Sadly, I rarely enjoy any corn unless it is labeled organic/GMO-free. I love the info generated from your site, its all about informed choices! I will try Trader Joes organic popcorn, thank you Ginger Kirk!

This Jeffrey Smith guy is arguably one of the leading experts on GMOs in food and in this "How to Avoid GMOs" article (, he notes:

"According to Cornell University’s website Genetically Engineered Organisms, Public Issues Project (GEO-PIE), only 3 to 5 percent of the sweet corn in the U.S. is GM, and it is very unlikely that popcorn or canned sweet corn are engineered."

(I was once concerned about GMOs in popcorn kernels, but -- in light of that information -- I now save the organic purchases for just the "Dirty Dozen".)

Of course, that could change tomorrow...

"According to the Popcorn Board, a nonprofit, check-off organization funded by U.S. popcorn processors, there is no genetically modified popcorn on the market -- but, biotech varieties are in the works. How long popcorn will stay genetically pure is anyone’s guess, but it may be a moot speculation."

Disclaimer: I know nothing about, nor do I have any interest in Jeffrey Smith, popcorn, the Popcorn Board, GMO producers... :)

Colby's cinnamon sugar popcorn is the best healthy popcorn ever! It is light but so delicious in flavor!

Have you tried Cobra Corn? I think you will find it healthy and delicious!

hey Andy, that info on the popcorn board was prefaced with ''bad news masquerading as good news''... I didn't think a Popcorn Board funded by popcorn processors sounded right, anyhow that article was convincing for not eating corn, at least to me. I rely on Organic Consumers Assoc. for news on the state of our food in general. The latest on corn and soy is scary and keeps me aware of why I'm such a crazy label-reader! I've found some very trustworthy brands and thank goodness there's still alot of good food to be found!

@Barb- I agree, it sure did seem to be two different stories (Jeffrey Smith's vs. the article). Perhaps Snack Girl will go undercover and write an exposé sorting this all out. :)

Thanks for the review! Fun snacks. I discovered Pop'd Kerns this week - I posted them on my blog today because I found them when I picked up my CSA. They are only 3 ingredients and somewhere in between popcorn kernels and the actual popcorn. We loved them!

I'm not sold on the antioxidant benefit of popcorn. The recent studies say the majority of the antioxidant is in the hull - the part that catches in your teeth - but which also happens to be completely indigestible. I'll eat it for other reasons!

I'm staying away from corn products. You can not eat corn these days without it likely containing some GMO's

Thanks for this, I've been loving Boom Chicka Pop for a while. They also have a "slightly sweet" version, which is a wonderful mix of sweet and salty. My only question, though, is how did you get the points plus value of 2? When I put the info into the calculator, it came to 4. I want to make sure I'm counting correctly. Thank you, I love your site!

Boom Chick a Pop is the best popcorn bar none, better than home made. When Costco sells it we buy a few Huge bags and stash then away. Wegman's sells it in their health food section so I am presuming it is non GMO. But I guess you never know.

Boom Chicka Pop is Non GMO and super delicious. I was looking for Skinny Pop one day, and found this instead - I love that it has a low salt content.

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