The History of Caramel Popcorn

Pull up a chair and sit down for a little history lesson! Wait, come back! We'll make this short and fun, promise! 


Popcorn first appeared to be grown about 9,000 years ago, with the first recorded instances of popped popcorn being eaten in parts of Peru, South America around 4,700 BC. Legend has it that European settlers in the 16th and 17th centuries came to America to find native peoples cooking and preparing popcorn, though there's no evidence to support that claim. 

Popcorn was consumed buttered, salted, lightly oiled/sweetened (which we know as kettle corn) or even with milk as a breakfast cereal. No thanks! Popcorn became a staple snack that just about everyone could enjoy, due to its inexpensive ingredients and ability to take on new flavors such as cheese well. It wasn't until the 1893 Chicago World's Fair that caramel corn as we know it debuted, and the rest is history. 

The business of caramel popcorn started hitting the nation in 1896 with Cracker Jack and only grew from there. It's not clear who first decided to put pecans with caramel popcorn, but whoever it was was onto something big. While there's plenty of ways to buy caramel corn, we like to think ours is the best out there. Maybe we're a bit biased though.

The legacy of Chico Pops begins 30-some years ago with Bonnie Sterzer, who used to make a delicious caramel corn for her daughter-in-law Elisabeth Sterzer (our C.E.O.!) Elisabeth took the recipe, tweaked it to perfection, and Chico Pops as we know it was born!

Chico Pops caramel corn

So there you have it! A quick crash course on the history of popcorn and caramel corn. There's a lot more to it, probably, but this killed a little time, right? And now you can impress your friends with fun facts while you enjoy some Chico Pops! 

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