Adam Sopher quite rightly delights in being a – if not the – pioneer of popcorn’s surprise English resurgence this decade.
The revitalised sector, including their part which they term “gourmet popcorn”, is currently taking chunks out of the tired old crisp market. Now a category in its own right, the big snack food giants are moving in. Brits eat twice as much now as any other Europeans, second only to the Americans. 2017’s nationwide sales are worth a staggering £152m.
His story is the stuff of start-up dreams. A 26-year old bored junior retail exec decides to make batches of his father’s old-time recipe. From “just” £10k in his parents’ kitchen, a single food trade show stand had the buyer of Selfridge’s phone him back to give him a go. Six years on and his treat is in 3,000 stores, and counting.
I caught him radiate his enjoyment on a bbc radio snippet.
An early revelation that his favourite flavour was their goats cheese and cracked black pepper was followed by a brief discussion on his air-popped manufacture. His pride glowing from it being healthier than oil-based versions as well as crisps. When challenged that this would be a great way to promote his lines, he replied;
“You can only really lead on one message.
You can’t say you’re the ‘best tasting popcorn’ but equally claim you’re ‘super healthy’.
The two messages conflict.”
I loved this.
The number of times I’ve winced when I see a salesperson gasp for air half-way through trying to cram in as many wonderful bullets about their product only to scramble for breath as they turn blue. With the bamboozled prospect wondering how they managed to make that walrus sound.
Maybe it’s time you did the popcorn test on your pitch.
There is only room for a single message. Know what one is best. The one that most sets you apart. Lead with it. Stick with it. As much as you can to the exclusion of any others.
And pop to success like Joe & Sephs.