Microwave Popcorn Innovators
Over the years, various people and companies have worked to improve microwave popcorn with packaging and flavoring.
Research provided by Lawrence C. Brandberg and David W. Andreas of General Mills led to the first microwave popping bag during the 70's. Their US patent #4,267,420 was granted in 1981.
Also during the mid-1970's, Pillsbury sold microwavable popcorn out of vending machines. As microwave oven sales increased to residential consumers, they began distributing to grocery stores too.
You've heard of Act II Popcorn, right? Well, they were initially known as Act I when they introduced butter within their microwavable bags. They used real dairy products, which meant that their product required to be kept in the refrigerator or the freezer. In 1984 they came out with a shelf stable microwave popcorn with butter flavoring, as well as other flavors, and renamed their brand as Act II. They actually became the first mass-marketed microwave popcorn manufacturing company.
As you can imagine, with the convenience and low costs, popcorn consumption would increase dramatically by tens of thousands of pounds. Now days, we grub on about a million pounds of unpopped popcorn a year. All of these historical pioneers mentioned above and a handful of other great innovators are all partly responsible for what you enjoy snacking on today.
And that's your history lesson for today. No worries, I won't be assigning you a pop quiz. Enjoy your popcorn!