The 11 Best Gourmet Popcorns You Can Possibly Snack On
We’ve turned popcorn into a last-minute dinner more times than we can count. And while we’ll never fully grow tired of Movie Theater Butter, the whole grain snack could definitely use a makeover. Enter the 11 best gourmet popcorn brands you can buy, an assortment of microwaveable and pre-popped popcorns that feature a wide range of flavors and seasonings. So, fire up Netflix and read on for our favorites—we feel a movie night coming on.
Best gourmet microwave popcorn
Flavor to try: Salted Umami
Why is it that most microwave popcorn flavorings always seem to stick to the inside of the bag instead of to the actual popcorn? With Opopop’s ingenious flavor-wrapped kernels, you’ll get to savor every drop. Coated in responsibly sourced palm oil and a range of spices and seasonings, this line of non-GMO, gluten-free kernels pack a flavorful punch in every bite. For the perfect preparation, spring for the reusable silicone Opopop popper.
2. Quinn Snacks
Best responsibly sourced gourmet popcorn
Flavor to try: Vermont Maple Kettle Corn
If you hate having to suffer through a greasy, too-sweet or too-salty bag of popcorn, this pick is for you. Quinn’s line allows you to add the oils and flavorings yourself post-popping, so it’ll be prepared exactly to your liking every time. Even better, you can see where the company sources all their non-GMO ingredients from right on the website. Flavors include Aged Parmesan & Rosemary, White Cheddar & Sea Salt and Movie Theater Extra Butter, but take it from us: The Vermont Maple Kettle Corn, dusted with maple sugar and sea salt, is positively mind-blowing. (Think crisp, light-as-air popcorn that’s equal parts salty and sweet; the maple sugar tastes authentic and maple-y without being cloying.)
3. Safe + Fair
Best allergy-friendly gourmet popcorn
Flavor to try: Strawberry Shortcake
We’ve been a fan of these drizzled popcorns for a while now. Not only are they tasty, but they’re also non-GMO, vegan and free of preservatives, artificial ingredients and allergens. Many of Safe + Fair’s kettle-popped kernels are inspired by all your favorite desserts, from Birthday Cake to Key Lime Pie to Mint Chocolaty Chip Ice Cream. But there are plenty of savory options to munch on, too (we’re looking at you, Everything Bagel and Dill Pickle).
Best gourmet popcorn for snacking
Flavor to try: Zebra
All of Popcornopolis’s snacks are made with non-GMO corn, but they’re better known for their assortment of 17 flavors than their ingredients. Classics like Buttered Up, Caramel Corn and Kettle Corn are available alongside modern flavors like Jalapeño Cheddar, Red Velvet and Snickerdoodle. The goods come in old-timey plastic cones, which make snacking that much easier (bye, dirty bowl).
5. The Popcorn Factory
Best gourmet popcorn tins
Flavor to try: Caramel
We’ve never met a massive popcorn tin we didn’t like love. And The Popcorn Factory has one for every occasion imaginable—even a casual movie night in. Instead of debating which flavor to get, treat yourself to a three-flavor tin that contains Butter, Cheese and Caramel popcorns. If you’re feeling extra peckish, spring for a gift box that also includes goodies like toffee caramels, cookies, gummies and hard candy.
Best healthy gourmet popcorn
Flavor to try: Spicy
BjornQorn is one of our favorite good-for-you snacks on the market, since it’s all-natural, non-GMO and seasoned with vegan ingredients. It’s famous for its crunchy texture and cheese-like flavor, courtesy of nutritional yeast, a plant-based, high-protein seasoning that’s been popular with vegans for years. You can’t go wrong with Classic or Salted, but we’re partial to the Spicy variety, which has both BjornQorn’s signature cheesy flavor and the bold kick of jalapeño powder.
7. Harry & David
Best sweet gourmet popcorn
Flavor to try: Chocolate Churro Moose Munch
If sweet popcorn is your vice, consider Moose Munch—a mix of chocolate-drizzled caramel corn and nuts—your kryptonite. This Harry & David invention is crispy, buttery and downright decadent, so it’s no wonder that it’s still going strong after more than two decades. And now, there’s a whole slew of Moose Munch varieties to sink your teeth into, in addition to the O.G. We’re talking Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Cranberry Almond, Iced Gingerbread, Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter and more.
8. Garrett Popcorn
Best gourmet popcorn for sweet-and-salty lovers
Flavor to try: Garrett Mix
Chicago-style popcorn is a brilliant mix of caramel and cheese, the ultimate combination for those who can never decide between a salty and sweet treat. You may have seen this flavor combination on shelves already (hi, Pret a Manger), but Garrett’s put this iconic snack on the map. While the brand has a variety of popcorns to choose from—many of them caramel corns with sugared nuts—the Garrett Mix, a duo of CheeseCorn and CaramelCrisp, won’t disappoint.
9. Funky Chunky
Most unique gourmet popcorn
Flavor to try: Chip Zel Pop
Be still our chocolate-loving heart. Funky Chunky has *tons* of snacks to explore, and they’re all equal parts salty, sweet and dreamy. There are over-the-top chocolate pretzels to nosh on, along with a wide range of decadently adorned popcorns that make for an epic gift, party snack or self-care meal (hey—we don’t judge). We’re most eager to try the Chip Zel Pop, a drool-worthy mélange of caramel corn, potato chips, pretzels, caramel drizzle and dark, milk and white chocolatey drizzles.
10. Emma’s Popcorn
Best gourmet popcorn flavor selection
Flavor to try: Amish Peanut Butter Schmeir
Choosing a flavor has never been tougher, considering that Emma’s Popcorn has more than 40 to choose from. This unique purveyor of Amish homemade popcorn is based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but their goodies are luckily available online as well. Varieties include tough-to-find options like Honey Mustard & Onion, Coconut Cream, Salt & Vinegar and White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, but first on our to-eat list is Amish Peanut Butter Schmeir, a melt-in-your-mouth collab between caramel and peanut butter.
11. Thatcher’s Gourmet Popcorn
Best gourmet popcorn bags
Flavor to try: White Cheddar Truffle
When you want to stock up on your favorite popcorn but don’t want to pay the price for a fancy tin, turn to Thatcher’s massive two- and four-pound party bags. A San Francisco treasure, this brand slings distinctly flavored kernels like Sriracha, Tiramisu, Cinnamon Toast and Cookies ‘N’ Cream, but our top pick is no doubt the umami-laced White Cheddar Truffle popcorn. (After all, it earned Thatcher’s a New Product Award at the Specialty Food Association’s 2021 sofi awards.)