Ritchies Carrum Downs
We noticed that the popcorn products in our general grocery department were experiencing a significant jump in sales as healthier snacks increase in popularity. So we thought, "Why not take advantage of this trend by popping corn fresh in-store?" We installed the popcorn machine on a shopping cart so we’d have the flexibility to move it around the store. This has proven to be quite a low-cost, high impact practice for our store while also being a unique differentiator that customers are sure to remember.
Why it Works
For Our Shoppers
Healthy snack, made fresh
Everything is better fresh, including popcorn. Our shoppers enjoy seeing the popcorn popped right in front of them and being able to easily grab a warm bag.
Ready-to-eat and ready-to-serve, we offer bag sizes in single serve and large quantity.
In addition to being able to purchase just the right amount, our popped corn is sold at a more competitive price than a pre-packaged item.
For Our Store
Not only was this a low-cost endeavor, it was also easy to implement. We buy our oils and flavors in bulk so ongoing fees are minimal.
Creates an exciting atmosphere
The smell of freshly popping popcorn permeates throughout our fresh department and create a unique environment. It gets people excited to be shopping.
The fresh popcorn machine is something that really stands out and sticks with shoppers. It’s not something that we’ve seen other competitors do, but we’ve been able to roll it out to a number of our stores with much success.
Purchase your popcorn machine
You don’t need to get something fancy, but something portable is a plus.
Positioning your machine in a high traffic area
We put ours right at the front of our fresh department with the most open space.
Buy your corn, oils, and flavors in bulk
Not only will this help prevent you from running out, it will help keep ongoing costs down.
Offer different portion sizes
We thought the individual cups of popcorn would be our biggest seller, but across the board our large bags have been the most popular.
Schedule staff to operate your popcorn machine during peak hours
Without a doubt you will sell more popcorn if someone is standing at the machine and offering samples. We choose to have someone there during peak hours to ensure there are bags available and to offer samples.
Keep the kiddos in mind
Keep your popcorn machine in a low enough position that kids can come up and look at it. Don’t put in the back where they don’t get the sell.