Fresh, fun, exclusive and young. These are the words that Sonia Pueyo, CEO of Popit, uses to describe her brand. Popit produces gourmet popcorn, handmade in Zaragoza, which has nothing to do with the classic popcorn on the market. With them, he has managed to reach international points of sale. It currently sells its product in Spain and in countries such as Andorra, France and Switzerland. Its popcorn has also become an attraction among brands. They have been chosen as an appetizer at events of brands such as Hugo Boss, Audi, Scalpers, Swarovsky, Brownie or EseOese.
“Collaborations with brands have been emerging. Little by little they have discovered that popcorn, because of the variety of flavors we offer, fits with many drinks and recipes. It’s a new pairing,” says Pueyo, who believes that part of Popit’s success is that the popcorn catches the customer from the first moment, with its eye-catching colors and original packaging. Then, the ultimate surprise comes when they try it.
At this moment, Popit has up to 30 flavors, including ‘Tutti Frutti’, mint chocolate, red peach, piña colada, passion fruit, lime, salted caramel or cookie, and even coffee flavors! A surprising offer, which, according to Pueyo, did not exist until then in Spain.
Popit’s story began almost by chance. “I’m from Zaragoza, but I’ve been living in London for two years. There I was surprised by the number of brands there and I thought there was a niche in Spain. I was working as a hotel manager and Popit started as a game. After a while, I realized that if I wanted to create a national brand I had to quit my job and dedicate myself completely to this,” says Sonia. And so she did.
Popit started in 2016 as a test in a garage, and currently employs seven people and is present in all the Club Gourmet of El Corte Inglés, Sánchez Romero Supermarkets and in dozens of independent stores.
Explosion of color and flavor
Pueyo’s main purpose in bringing Popit to market was to create a brand of gourmet popcorn different from those sold by international companies. Six years later, he believes they have succeeded, although he recognizes that it has taken several attempts to achieve ‘the perfect popcorn’. “In England they have four or five brands but they don’t look like this one,” says the CEO. “If we were just colored popcorn, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are,” she adds.
The key to Popit popcorn lies in the base ingredient. “We use a mushroom-type corn that pops rounder and bigger than usual. From there, it’s the creativity of our chefs and team that surprises the customer,” he explains.
At Popit, the design of a new reference is usually born through proposals from the company’s employees or from the customers themselves. “Someone suggests a new flavor and, if we think it could be attractive, we do it. We do tastings, take it to events, and if we see that it works, we keep it,” says Sonia.
7,000 kilos of corn per year
For almost two years Popit has positioned itself in the international market as a gastronomic experience. It started in retail, but has a growing presence in the corporate sector.
“We accompany companies on congresses, incentive trips…. We are also often the Christmas gift. We have even made tailor-made popcorn, depending on the colors and flavors requested by the entities,” says Pueyo. Recently, they have collaborated with banks, consultancies, esthetics laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. “We even customize the logo,” he says.
In addition, several hotel chains in Spain offer Popit popcorn as a welcome gift or as part of the minibar. This diversification has been achieved mainly thanks to a careful digital communication strategy. “It is the brands themselves who call us, when they are looking for novelties especially in the fashion and beverage sector. They find us thanks to the brand’s digital marketing,” he says.
Fresh product, no stock
Popit uses around 7,000 kilos of raw corn per year. And among the curiosities that stand out about the brand is that they have almost no stock of their production. They make the popcorn they know they are going to sell in order to deliver it “as fresh as possible” and to ensure that the quality of their product is in line with their exclusive image, which is what their public demands.
Today, Popit’s potential customers range from 20 to 60 years old. “We started by focusing on a mature customer, who was looking for a luxury item, and obviously by marketing in the El Corte Inglés Gourmet supermarket we achieved this. But we have seen that the flavors that sell the most are those with more intense colors and that they are also purchased by a young profile, between 20 and 30 years old, mainly for parties and celebrations such as weddings, baptisms and communions,” says the CEO.
According to Sonia Pueyo, the best-selling versions of Popit are Salted Caramel, cherry and any of the eight chocolate versions: Salty & Chic, Cinnamon & Cream, Caprichos de Menta, Orange Temptation, Black & White, Cookies Supreme, Pink Panther and Delicia de Rosas. “It’s a traditional snack that we’ve turned around and made sophisticated,” he concludes.
In an interview for Goaragón, Sonia Pueyo has announced that Popit will launch a new reference: ‘flavors of the world’. It will be savory and will be made with corn, curry, fine herbs and tomato with oregano. What are Popit’s plans for the future? Pueyo answers: “We are moving to Cuarte, in Zaragoza, and we want to start working with other countries that are already looking at us. However, we will continue with the artisan production process as we do now”. At Popit, even the packaging is handmade.