Named after a town just 60 miles from Indianapolis, with a population of just 42, Popcorn, Indiana is sold in major chains, from CVS Pharmacy to Walmart and Whole Foods.
“We are committed to growing the Eagle Brands platform, both organically and through strategic acquisitions, and expanding our product offerings to best meet the needs of our customers and consumers,” Eagle Foods CEO Paul Smucker Wagstaff told FoodNavigator-USA.
He acquired the Eagle Foods arm from his family’s company— J.M. Smucker — in 2015, and has been on a quest to expand its brand portfolio beyond condensed milk to include snack brands, acquiring the GH Cretors popcorn brand in August 2016.
Differentiation in the two brands
Popcorn is a hot space to be in, Wagstaff said. “This category has been growing at 5-6% annually which is significantly faster than the broader snacking category,” he said, citing Euromonitor data.
But will the two popcorn brands’ sales cannibalize each other? Not with the growth and positioning strategy Eagle Foods has planned for them, according to Wagstaff.
“Our Popcorn, Indiana and G.H. Cretors brands are perfect complements in the fast growing ready-to-eat popcorn category. These brands utilize different distribution channels and feature core products that appeal to specific customer segments,” he said.
For example, Popcorn, Indiana specializes in classic flavors like Kettlecorn, Cheddar, and a Chicago Fair Mix (a combination of plain, cheddar, and caramel). Meanwhile, G.H. Cretors is more exploratory, offering Chile Jalapeno White Cheddar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Dill Pickle flavored popcorn.
With the two popcorn brands in tow, Wagstaff said it will increase the company’s “scale and importance in the ready-to-eat popcorn category.”