8 Best Bagged Popcorns Popped in Healthy Oils

Another Super Bowl is coming up. And while the Super Bowl is about football, it’s also about the musicians performing at the Halftime Show, and the great commercials… and of course, all of the great food served at Super Bowl parties. Over 100 million people will be throwing parties to watch the big game. At these parties, hosts will be serving smorgasbords of everybody’s favorite treats.

I throw a Super Bowl party every year. I love doing so, because it combines two of my favorite things: football and food. For me, it’s a great way to demonstrate how sustainable food can be fun. For the past few years, I’ve been releasing articles around the Super Bowl about my favorite snack foods. What originally began as one article has expanded into a series covering different types of snack foods in each one. As the options for better snack foods grow, I’m able to separate subcategories into their own articles. 

This year, I’m pleased introduce one all about bagged popcorn popped in healthy oils. For too long, popcorns were all cooked using seed oils such as canola or soybean. We’re now beginning to see popcorns using healthy oils, including as coconut, avocado, and olive oil. 

Another issue with bagged popcorn is the ingredients along with the popcorn, salt, and oil. This can be anything from artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, GMOs, and other unnatural additives. The brands I’m recommending all pride themselves on using real ingredients. 

In alphabetical order, here are the 8 best bagged popcorns popped in healthy oils:


Lesser Evil 

President and CEO Charles Coristine came to Lesser Evil as he thought it could be a great opportunity to have the company carry out his practices of mindfulness and healthy living, not to mention he loved the name. He saw the goal of Lesser Evil as creating organic, sustainably made delicious snacks that inspire mindful snacking. Examples of their sustainable practices are the energy efficient facility they own, composting their food waste, and packaging the products in NEO Plastics. Lesser Evil has seven different flavors of its popcorn, cooked in either coconut oil, ghee, avocado oil, or olive oil. They have other better snack options ranging in everything from cassava flour puffs and curls to veggie sticks to paleo cookies.


Little Lad’s 

Restaurant owners Larry & Maria Fleming founded Little Lad’s Herbal Corn when they were trying to come up with an alternative side to the sandwiches at their Maine restaurant. Larry & Maria started making popcorn and seasoning it with herbs and spices. Their popcorn is cooked in either coconut or olive oil and free of chemical ingredients, artificial flavors such as MSG, hard to pronounce ingredients, harmful spices, and inedible preservatives. Little Lad’s comes in several flavors, including sea salt & olive oil and herbal corn. 


Living Intentions 

Joshua McHugh founded Living Intentions as he wanted to start a company providing innovative snacks  healthier than the alternative out there. Joshua focused on sourcing unique top quality ingredients and herbal extracts from other functional foods. In the beginning, he was sprouting foods in five gallon buckets day and night in his home kitchen with food dehydrators stacked up all over his house. Living Intentions is now based in Point Richmond, CA with a newly built processing facility designed specifically for sprouting. After becoming a pioneer in the raw and sprouted food movement with their nuts and seeds, Living Intentions has expanded into many other areas of snack food. In 2016, they introduced their activated popcorn line. Joshua launched this because he wanted to take popcorn to the next level. Many companies were popping it in coconut oil. Only a few companies used organic popcorn. He wanted to have popcorn which did both of these plus made it a functional snack with probiotics and superfood ingredients. Living Intentions’ popcorn can be found in varieties like Himalayan salt MCT, salsa verde, and tandoori turmeric. 


Pop Art Snacks

Pop Art Snacks founder Mike and Venessa Dobson both come from an art background. Their company is all about making snacks not just healthy but also fun. They add that they do for snack food what Andy Warhol did for Campbell’s soup cans. Pop Art’s products take the traditional popcorn snack and elevate it into a savory “taste of art”. Their products are all sourced with organic and natural ingredients. Pop Art’s popcorn comes in bold flavors, including cheddar jalapeño, Hawaiian sea salt, and dill pickle ranch. All of those flavors are with kernels cooked in avocado oil.


Pop Daddy Snacks

Mark and Erin Sarafa, the founders of Pop Daddy Snacks, had been eating microwave popcorn almost every evening before Mark decided to do some research. He learned about the chemicals found in microwave popcorn and knew it was time to come up with a healthier snack to feed his family. Mark bought a large popcorn maker for his basement and experimented with different kernels and flavors. He then had his friends, family, and neighbors sample the popcorn and they loved it. After two years of giving away the popcorn for free, Mark made Pop Daddy his full time job in 2013 and purchased an older bakery in Highland, MI. He originally shared a bakery with three other businesses. In 2015, he moved out of the bakery into a larger space in Whitmore Lake, MI. The facility has consistently grown in size to the 14,500 square feet it is today. The kernels are popped in olive oil and come in numerous flavors, such as original, white cheddar, and chipotle BBQ. 



Founders Julie & Marty Lapham created Popzup in 2016 with the purpose of offering a healthy snack which is better both for the people and the planet. Popzup has popcorn made with pure and simple ingredients which are sourced at least 50% from the local community and 100% within the eastern United States. The kernels are popped in coconut oil. Their cleverly named popcorn flavors are butter me up, cheddar head, cheesie herbie, and maple cinnamon toast. Popzup also sells popcorn kernels and seasonings. 


Sweet Chaos

In 2016, Sweet Chaos began popping corn in its kettles. Sweet has more than one meaning to them. They’re about being sweet (meaning awesome), their snacks tasting sweet, and being sweet to others. Sweet Chaos is owned by KLN Family Brands, a third generation family owned company. Their popcorn is made in coconut oil and free of artificial colors and flavors. Their offerings come in three different categories: regular popcorn in various flavors, drizzled popcorn, and seasonal drizzles. 


Valley Pop

Valley Pop‘s popcorn originates from seeds in the midwest where the soil in the farmland is abundant in phosphorus and potassium, which adds extra flavor to the popcorn. These seeds are sent to Valley Pop in 2200 pound bags. Once the bag is opened, the seeds become popcorn and shipped to consumers in the next 24 hours. No chemicals of any type are added. The salt is added directly to the kettle while the kernels are popped and the salt melts and blends with the coconut oil and popcorn. Valley Pop is able infuse the oil, salt, and popcorn together well through its high heat, low volume process. This approach also results in less unpopped kernels and hulls. Valley comes in multiple flavors, such as sea salt and cheddar cheese. They also sell popcorn kernels and kits with kernels, salt, and coconut oil which are free of any artificial ingredients 

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