It might surprise you to learn that microwave popcorn hasn’t been around that long. The first bag was patented by General Mills in 1981, and brands have been furiously tinkering with their recipes ever since. Popping popcorn has always been pretty easy (oil, kernels, stir), but moving the process into the microwave added safety by keeping kids away from the stove and added convenience by eliminating cleanup. As long as microwaves remain in home (or office or dorm) kitchens, microwave popcorn will continue to be found in the adjacent pantries.
And at the dawn of the 2020s, when light, on-the-go snacks for busy, hungry people reign supreme, it’s time to determine which bag is best. May the victor populate your cabinets, purses, and office snack drawers for tasty recreational use.
All due credit goes to Aimee Levitt for rounding up the candidates at the grocery store and sharing her thoughts on the bounty. Our Onion Inc. colleagues, always game to join us in our snacking, weighed in as well. Here’s what we found.
(Note: At the grocery store, we selected each brand’s “butter” variety, in keeping with the classic microwave popcorn tradition.)