These 8 Bagged Popcorn Brands Rival the Movie Theater Stuff With Healthier, More Inventive Flavors

Popcorn is one of the world’s most popular snack foods. Research suggests that more than 17 billion quarts of popcorn are eaten in America every year. A movie night or Netflix binge isn’t complete without a bag full of this super crave-able treat, but it turns out, popcorn can actually be healthy for us, too. It seems too good to be true, but we’re pleased to reveal this is not a joke. Popcorn is, after all, a whole grain, which is a key component of a plant-forward, whole foods diet (one of the healthiest ways to eat, linked with a significantly reduced risk of chronic disease).

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RELATED: Popcorn Is the Ultimate Snack. These 9 Brands Prove It.

But it’s not as straightforward as heading to your local store and grabbing the first popcorn product you see. Spoiler: you might want to skip the microwavable options. Here’s what you need to know about the health benefits (and risks) of popcorn, plus some of our favorite bagged popcorn products—all vegan, of course.

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Is popcorn healthy?

As mentioned above, popcorn is a whole grain, which means it contains vitamins, including B vitamins; minerals, including iron and magnesium; and fiber, which supports gut and digestive health. In fact, popcorn is very high in fiber—just 100 grams contains around 15 grams. Popcorn is also a source of an antioxidant called polyphenols. These powerful plant compounds may help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and potentially lower the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

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This all sounds pretty positive, but there are a few things you need to know before you stock up. Some popcorn products can contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, as well as added salt and unhealthy fats. Some microwavable varieties are also packaged with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This helps to prevent oil from leaking through the paper, but it’s also a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS). You can read more about the potential risks associated with consuming PFAS here.

8 of the best vegan bagged popcorn products

If you want all the best bits of popcorn, without the questionable chemicals, there are many delicious products on the market to choose from. Below, we’ve rounded up a few of our go-to vegan bagged popcorn picks.

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1 Pur’s Sweet & Salty Popcorn

When it comes to popcorn, we say you can’t beat the combination of sweet and salty flavors in one bag. Pur’s gluten-free, nut-free version is a great choice, it’s made with just four simple ingredients: corn, coconut oil, sugar, and Himalayan pink salt. If you prefer to avoid sugar, you can opt for the brand’s simple Sea Salt flavor, which is made with just corn, coconut oil, and sea salt.
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2 Angie’s BoomChickaPop’s Sea Salt Popcorn

Another brand that keeps it simple and delicious when it comes to popcorn is Angie’s BoomChickaPop. It’s not a totally vegan-friendly brand, but its tasty Sea Salt offering is made with just a handful of ingredients, including sunflower oil, and none of them come from animals.
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3 SkinnyPop’s Original Popcorn

SkinnyPop has a wide range of flavors (and not all of them are vegan), but you can’t beat the Original. Made with just oil and salt, it’s gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan-friendly. It’s delicious on its own, but you can also mix it with dark chocolate, nuts, and dried fruits for a tasty trail mix.
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4 The Safe + Fair Food Company’s Strawberry Shortcake Drizzle Popcorn

Simple salted is a great flavor, there’s no doubt. But if you want a little more flavor in your popcorn, you need to check out The Safe + Fair Food Company. This brand offers a wide range of unique, delicious, allergen-free flavors, including Strawberry Shortcake Drizzle, which are also free from artificial ingredients.
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5 LesserEvil’s Avocado-liscious Organic Popcorn 

Avocado is a go-to plant ingredient for many. It’s delicious on toast, you can’t beat guacamole, and it takes sandwiches to the next level. But it’s also a great popcorn flavor, according to the organic popcorn brand LesserEvil. If that doesn’t sound like your bag, though, you can also try one of the brand’s many other tasty vegan flavors, including Himalayan Pink Salt, Fiery Hot, and dairy-free White Cheddar.
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6 Husk Organics’ Cayenne & Ginger Popcorn 

Popcorn is already a whole grain, but Husk Organics takes its nutritional quality to the next level by adding more whole food ingredients. In this unique flavor, organic lemon, ginger, cayenne pepper, and organic carrots are combined to give the popcorn the perfect level of spice, heat, and sweetness, too.
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7 Pipcorn Heirloom Snacks’ Mini Truffle Popcorn 

Sometimes, rather than a big shared bag, you just want a little snack to get you through the day. These mini popcorn bags from Pipcorn Heirloom Snacks are the perfect mid-afternoon treat, and they come in unique flavors, including truffle. It sounds like an odd popcorn choice at first, but once you’ve tried a few flakes, you’ll be converted.
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8 Pop Art Snacks’ Dill Pickle Vegan Ranch Popcorn

Arguably, another great snack choice is pickles and ranch. But if you can’t decide between this and popcorn, you don’t have to. Luckily, Pop Art Snacks has made everyone’s life that little bit easier by creating a Dill Pickle Vegan Ranch popcorn flavor. If that really doesn’t sound like your thing, the brand also offers several other tasty vegan flavors, including Rosemary Truffle, Hawaiian Sea Salt, and Sweet & Salty.
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