Metcalfe’s Food readies ‘aggressive’ push for popcorn brand

Metcalfe’s Food Company, the business founded by former by Pret a Manger owner Julian Metcalfe, is readying a flurry of marketing activity for its Skinny Topcorn popcorn brand as it prepares to announce its first celebrity brand ambassador to achieve a more mainstream appeal.  

Metcalfe’s Food wants to achieve a more mainstream status for its Skinny Topcorn range.

The ambassador would be the figurehead of the Skinny Topcorn brand’s expansion efforts as it looks to diversify into other corn-based products such as tortilla-style corn chips and corn cakes. 

The business hopes to replicate the success of drinks brand Vita Coco’s tie-up with singer Rihanna after interest in the low calorie range peaked following its appearance on the Beyonce documentary “Life is But a Dream” earlier this year.

The company claims the UK savoury popcorn market is worth around £60m and is growing 20 per cent year-on-year. By growing its offering now, Metcalfe’s Foods aims to prevent further gains by made rivals Walker’s and Tyrells, which have both launched savoury popcorn ranges since Skinny Topcorn debuted in 2008.

To compliment the strategy, the brand is planning to ramp-up the number of on-pack film tie-ins it launches to build on its partnership with the Twilight DVD release in February.

The activity is part of wider business plans to generate sales of £50m by 2015. The company expects £20m to come from its Metcalfe Skinny Topcorn sales and the remaining £25m to come from its Itsu brand, and extensions of the Japanese restaurant chain.