A Sandwell-based manufacturer of popcorn has expanded its premises and developed innovative new ‘scratch and sniff’ packaging thanks to funding secured with help from Think Sandwell.
Wednesbury-based Cornpoppers Ltd, a family business established in 1979, is one of the UK’s largest producers of popcorn. Its products include sharing bags, a ‘bakery range’, and speciality flavours Maple Syrup, Mexican Jalapeno and Chilli & Sicilian Lemon.
With a background as a manufacturer of fun-food machinery, Cornpoppers also makes bespoke popcorn products for clients.
In 2015 Think Sandwell worked with Cornpoppers to help the business secure £168,000 of Regional Growth Fund (RGF) money. RGF is a government initiative to raise private-sector investment to create economic growth and lasting employment.
With the grant, Cornpoppers was able to build an extension to its Potters Lane premises in Wednesbury and develop an exciting innovation: a spray coat method to produce ‘scratch and sniff’ packaging to enhance customers’ experience. This is believed to be a first for a food-based product.
Balvinder Nijjar of Cornpoppers said the grant has helped secure all existing jobs at the company and that, without help from Think Sandwell, the extension could not have gone ahead.
“The RGF grant has helped Cornpoppers to expand our capacity for new business, and develop new exciting innovations,” she explained. “Without the grant we would not have been able to expand and we are now looking forward to seeing the company grow from strength to strength.”