Sure, you love the buttery, chemical-y, cholesterol-y flavor of a nice bag of hot, steaming popcorn. But who has the time or cardiovascular stamina to place a bag into the microwave, push a button, and wait up to three minutes?
Americans will not stand for having to microwave their own popcorn. ("Stand" should be understood to be a figure of speech.) Today, you, the consumer, increasingly demand that global food science conglomerates cater to your hunger with pre-popped bags of popcorn, ready to be opened and enjoyed immediately. All the artificial flavor, none of the waiting. And twice the preservatives. Ad Age explains what's driving the explosive growth of the "ready-to-eat" popcorn segment:
“Microwave popcorn at its inception was all about convenience, having only to wait three minutes to get warm, delicious popcorn,” said Colleen Bailey, Orville [Redenbacher]'s brand director. But “as times have changed, the definition of convenience has changed.”
“You don't have to take the extra step of opening the box, opening the wrapper,” and “hoping you have the skill to watch it appropriately so you don't ruin the product,” said Beth Bloom, a food and drinks analyst with market researcher Mintel.
You don't have to take the extra step. Opening the box. Opening the wrapper.
Hoping you have the skill not to ruin it. (The microwave popcorn).