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How Much Air is in Your Favourite Popcorn?

Popcorn bags, also known as ‘pillow packaging’ have been estimated to take at least eight decades to degrade but could take longer


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The popularity of popcorn is on the rise and it is increasingly becoming one of our most-loved snacks. But how many times have you settled down to enjoy this treat to discover upon opening the packaging that you are getting less popcorn than you expected?

Direct Air recently conducted a study, using our favourite popcorn brands and flavours, to discover which manufacturers are leaving consumers feeling disheartened by the amount of air in popcorn bags.

While we all know the importance of air within food packaging, more specifically nitrogen, to maintain product freshness and protect our treats from damage, it appears some brands are using considerably more than others.

The worst culprit was Proper Corn Peanut Butter & Almond with a staggering 71% air in their bags. The best result was Marks & Spencer Salted Caramel at a respectable 31%.

See below for the full results:

Brand/Flavour Price per 100g (£) % of air
Proper Corn Peanut Butter & Almond 1.60 71
Nude Sweet & Salty 1.56 62
Nude Simply Salted 1.92 62
Tyrrell’s Sweet 1.94 57
Metcalfe’s Toffee Apple 2.25 57
Tyrell’s Sea Salted 2.50 55
Tesco Salted 1.24 55
Marks & Spencer Salted 1.54 55
Metcalfe’s Sweet ‘N’ Salt 1.25 54
Proper Corn Perfectly Sweet 1.78 54
Waitrose Sea Salty 1.43 53
Waitrose Sweet & Salty 1.11 53
Tesco Sweet & Salty 0.96 52
Butterkist Cinema Sweet 1.70 48
Butterkist Toffee 1.00 44
Marks & Spencer Salted Caramel 0.57 31

 

These results show that for the average £1.58 spent on a bag of popcorn, a whopping 86p is spent on just the air alone, at an average air fill of 54% per bag!

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Not only are consumers left feeling out-of-pocket, but this is also contributing to landfill waste at an extortionate level.

Popcorn bags, also known as ‘pillow packaging’ have been estimated to take at least eight decades to degrade but could take longer. With this in mind, surely manufacturers should be taking every step possible to reduce their plastic usage?

Unfortunately, it appears some brands are ignoring the public outcry to protect our environment and reduce the amount of packaging left to landfill. Marks & Spencer have pledged to reduce all their plastic packaging by 20% and it looks like they are already on track to do so.

However, other brands are needlessly increasing their amount of air used and therefore increasing their packaging size. Not only does this contribute to the ever-growing plastic problem but also to carbon emissions. The larger the packaging, the larger the transport needed to bring these products to our supermarket shelves and therefore increasing the number of vehicles on the road.

Perhaps it is time to level-up the pressure on these companies to better our environment and not leave consumers feeling duped from their purchases.

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