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Did you realize that Americans consume 15 billion quarts of popcorn annually? Around the world, popcorn is also well-liked, and by 2031, the market is expected to nearly double as strong tastes like chocolate, jalapeño, and peanut butter gain popularity. Starting your own popcorn business, whether it be from home, on a cart, or in a specialty store, would allow you to participate in this market. Whichever you decide, you can spread joy and taste while earning a solid life. 

You should educate yourself with the entrepreneurial process though before you start popping away. Fortunately, everything you need to know to start a profitable popcorn business is laid out in this step-by-step tutorial. 

Step 1: Find Out if this is the Right Business for You?

Positives Vs Negatives

Popcorn is in increasing demand as a pleasant snack with good health.
Lucrative – Popcorn has a significant profit margin.
Flexibility: Work from home and run a popcorn website.
A saturated market with lots of popcorn companies to compete with
Cottage Food Laws: Making popcorn for sale at home may be subject to rules

  • Global popcorn sales in 2020 were just under $10 billion [1]; over the previous five years, the US popcorn market had grown 2.5% annually [2].
  • Growth prediction: By 2031, the world’s popcorn market is expected to nearly treble to $18.8 billion.
  • There were 247 pop corn manufacturing companies in the US in 2021, according to statistics.[3]
  • Employment figures – In 2021, 3,948 persons were working in the US popcorn production industry. 

Cost of Starting Popcorn Business

If you want to start a popcorn business online from your home, the startup fees range from $3,300 to $7,300. The price of the ingredients, a popcorn maker for sale, and packaging supplies.

These sums can increase by $2,500 to $5,000 if you establish a popcorn cart. The price of a popcorn shop will increase by at least $20,000. 

To get your popcorn business off on the right foot, you’ll need a few things, such as: 

Investments Items: 

  • kernels of popcorn
  • Salts and oils
  • Labels and bags
  • Seasonings and toppings 

Is Popcorn Business Profitable?

A bag of pre-made popcorn costs roughly $5 on average. Larger bags can run you $7 to $12. We’ll use $6 as our average price point for these computations. Your profit margin after costs for ingredients and packaging ought to be substantial—roughly 70%. 

You might do business from home for the first year or two and earn $62,000 annually by selling 200 bags every week. If the 70% margin is accurate, this would result in a profit of around $44,000. Sales of 1000 bags a week may be achieved when your brand becomes more well-known and your marketing initiatives are intensified. At this point, you would rent a building with more equipment and recruit staff, bringing your profit margin down to about 30%. You’d still have a significant profit with $312,000 in annual revenue.

Entry Barriers

  • if you decide to operate a shop or buy a cart, financing the initial costs is necessary.
  • having enough space in your house to run an online business

Step 2: Create a Strategy

Identify a Gap

Examine the products, price ranges, and best-selling items offered by popcorn businesses in your neighborhood and online. Finding a market gap to fill is what you’re after. Consider the possibility that the market lacks a gourmet popcorn cart or kettle corn stand.  Consider concentrating on a certain area of your industry, such as savory popcorn or gluten-free popcorn, in order to attract a specialized consumer. Your word-of-mouth advertising may gain momentum as a result, drawing customers in right immediately. 


All you have to do is build a list of the popcorn recipes you wish to try. You may charge more to sell popcorn in attractive tins rather than just in bags. 


Depending on the size of the bag, popcorn ranges in price from $5 to $12. You should strive for a profit margin of roughly 70% after ingredient and packaging costs. 

The Step By Step Profit Margin Calculator can be used to calculate your markup and final price points once you have an understanding of your expenditures. Do not forget that the prices you use at launch should be flexible if the market requires it.

Target Market

If you want to sell worldwide, you should broaden your marketing to include platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook as your target market comprises roughly 80% of the US population in addition to the global community. Another option is to try to convince neighborhood grocers to stock your popcorn. Market proprietors can be contacted by phone or found on LinkedIn. On Google or Yelp, you can find them. 


In order to save money, you might want to launch your company from home at first. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire staff for a range of responsibilities and perhaps even rent an office. Find available business space for rent in your community by using websites like Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

When choosing a commercial facility, keeping in mind some broad principles could be beneficial:

  • centrally located, easily accessible by public transportation
  • having lots of airflow and natural light
  • Your lease may be modified to accommodate future business growth.
  • a location that has not yet undergone any significant modifications or repairs and is hence available for usage

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

Every company needs a strategy. This will serve as a guide to aid in the launch of your firm while keeping your primary objectives in mind. A business plan also helps potential investors and business partners understand your organization and its objectives:

  • An executive summary should be written as soon as the business plan is finished.
  • The business overview includes an overview of the company’s vision, mission, ownership, and goals.
  • Your product and service descriptions make it apparent what you have to offer.
  • The market should be subjected to a SWOT analysis, and market trends, including changes in demand, should be evaluated.
  • Describe the benefits of your offerings and contrast them with the qualities and drawbacks of your primary competitors.
  • Consider your company’s USPs while developing sales, marketing, and promotional initiatives.
  • Management Team: A breakdown of the individuals’ responsibilities and professional histories, as well as the company’s organizational chart.
  • The operational strategy details your company’s logistics, office location, critical assets, and equipment.
  • a three-year financial plan that outlines startup expenses, a balance sheet, cash flow, profit and loss projections, and a study of profits and losses.
  • Any extra financial or business documentation should be included in the appendix..

Step 4: Create a Marketing Plan

Despite the fact that some of your customers will come through the internet, you must spend in digital marketing! Word-of-mouth advertising is crucial for new businesses since it will increase customer and brand recognition.

Link your social media profiles to your website once it is live and vice versa. It’s a fantastic tool for promoting your business because you can use social media to post interesting content that promotes your goods:

  • You may target certain demographics on Facebook, such as men under 50 in the Cleveland area, making it an excellent tool for sponsored advertising. 
  • Facebook-like benefits on Instagram, but with a different audience.
  • Website: SEO will help to improve your website’s ranking in relevant search results, which is crucial for increasing sales. Make sure the calls to action on your website are optimized. The text, color, size, and location of calls to action like “Buy Now” should all be experimented with as this can greatly increase transactions.
  • Google and Yelp: In order to enhance visibility and draw in new customers, businesses that rely on local customers may find it vital to list on Google My Business and Yelp.

Kickstart Marketing

Use your website, social media channels, and face-to-face interactions to promote your goods and build your brand. There are a few ideas:

  • Personal sales – Sell your popcorn in neighborhood markets.
  • Upload a video and talk about your popcorn in it. Use comedy, and it can become popular online!
  • Offer a one-time version of your popcorn that is limited edition.
  • Make press releases on new products, sales, and other topics.
  • Paid social media advertisements should be placed on platforms that will allow you to reach your target audience.
  • Pay-per-click advertising: To rank higher in searches, use Google AdWords. First, do some keyword research.
  • Paying individuals with sizable social media followings to promote your popcorn is known as influencer marketing. Micro-influencers with smaller audiences and cheaper prices are available.