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“Black Popcorn” Growing Strong In Popularity
“It’s healthier for you and there are fewer hulls in the popped corn,” says Barry Johnson, president of Black Jewell Popcorn of Columbus, Indiana. Johnson’s company purchased the business in 2013. The original popcorn venture began in 1963 in southern Illinois.
  Black Jewell’s line of black and crimson-colored and microwave popcorns is now marketed nationwide through a variety of grocery stores.
  Black Jewell gourmet popcorns are packaged in 28.35-oz. and 15-oz. jars and 3-bag microwave boxes. Its main varieties are Black Jewell, Crimson Jewell and Native Mix. “All of Black Jewell’s popcorns tend to be more crunchy in texture and have more of a ‘nutty’ flavor than standard yellow or white popcorns,” Johnson says. “The colorful kernels provide protective antioxidants not present in ordinary yellow and white popcorns. They’re whole grain, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and pop pure white and virtually free of hulls.”
  The company grows its own black popcorn seed, its biggest seller, in Illinois and Indiana through contract growers.
  “The non-GMO verification has been key to our growth,” Johnson says. “At least a third of the phone calls we get are from consumers who are concerned about the GMO issue, so we knew this was an issue that is shaping consumer preferences. I believe we were the first company to get non-GMO verification for a microwave popcorn product. That distinction has been instrumental in getting us into several retail chains.”
  Johnson says the company’s naturally occurring black kernel color also produces a higher level of antioxidants than other popcorns. “Nutrition and medical research has shown that antioxidants help protect against free radicals – molecules that can damage cells. So this is just one more reason Black Jewell is a healthy choice in popcorns,” he says.
   Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Black Jewell Popcorn, 417 Washington Street, Columbus, Ind. 47201 (ph 800 948-2302; www.blackjewell.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #2