Healthier snack to help tackle obesity

17 May 2011 – Northern Ireland’s Golden Popcorn has developed a unique snack food that could help to counter obesity in children. The company, one of the leading manufacturers of popcorn in Ireland, has developed a tasty snack that’s free from added salt and sugar, is naturally high in fibre and doesn’t contain any artificial colourings and flavourings.

The only ingredients in the new popcorn are maize, rape seed oil and natural flavourings such as raspberry as a sugar substitute.

Golden Popcorn, which has been making popcorn since 1996, has already won business for the new healthier option from foodservice organisations in Scotland and is on sale in schools there.

The new popcorn, developed over the past year, is producing very positive feedback from primary school children there and also following trial samplings in Northern Ireland.

Lucy McDowell, Golden Popcorn’s managing director, commenting on the innovative product, says, “The new popcorn is designed to offer a healthier option particularly for children and young people that could help wean them away from other sugary snacks. Changing habits, of course, takes time.

“I was motivated to make this important and strategic investment by discussions I’ve had with school principals over the past few years.

“I’ve been alarmed by their stories of overweight children with breathing problems that make it virtually impossible for them to take part in any sports whatsoever, as well as other conditions including diabetes, mouth ulcers and tooth decay.

“I fully support the efforts by the Government to limit access in schools to snack foods and drinks with high sugar and salt content. Our new popcorn is also a direct response to this important campaign. It provides a more natural and, I believe, much healthier snack for hungry youngsters.

“Developing the first in what is intended to be a portfolio of healthier popcorn snacks is a very significant investment of time and resources for the company. This has also led us to look at all our existing products.”

Golden Popcorn has achieved top quality ranking from the influential British Retail Consortium (BRC) and now supplies popcorn to major retailers such as Sainsbury, Tesco and Asda in Northern Ireland as well as many of the region’s cinemas. The company has a longstanding commitment to new product development in the fast moving snack foods market.

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