Sweet As Popcorn Ltd started out with Bill Neal cooking popcorn in a mobile cooker at the Frankton Markets in Hamilton each Saturday. Since then his popcorn company has grown, with aims to expand throughout the South Island and working on overseas exports.

What is your company background, how did you start the business?

“The business grew and so I set up a small factory in the basement of my Raglan home. In time we outgrew this, so Sweet As Popcorn Ltd set up a factory in Hamilton in 2011, which now employs approximately 20 people from six different nationalities.”

What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?

“We have 15 different products available; Sweet and Salty Multipack 200g, Caramel Multipack 180g, Sweet & Salty in a 140g and 40g bag, Caramel in a 150g and 40g bag, Sea Salt in a 150g and 20g bag, and Salt & Vinegar in a 150g and 20g bag. The Popcorn Bar offers Sweet & Salty, Coconut and Manuka Honey flavours.

Our products are dairy and gluten-free with a gourmet taste and appearance, and 100 percent New Zealand made.”

Has there been any recent company news?

“In February 2016 our popcorn bar was released before setting up a new factory in June 2016 and looking to release a new product in approximately September 2016. Watch this space.”

What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?

“Sweet As Popcorn Ltd wants to expand throughout the South Island. We are currently in a few New World and Pak’nSave stores but are looking to increase our reach down there. We are also working on overseas exports too.”

Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?

“All of our products are available in New World and Pak’nSave stores throughout the North Island, and this is gradually expanding into the South Island. In the North Island, Sweet As Popcorn products can be found in Four Squares, service stations, dairies, and SuperValue stores. Ideally, we would love to be in any store that sells food or drink items. We are on the lookout for any opportunities for businesses to stock our products.”