Babs Mingo

Babs Mingo

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


Popcorn is one of America’s favorite snacks, enjoyed by people of all ages at movie theaters, carnivals, and even in the comfort of their own homes. And what better way to celebrate this beloved treat than by designating a whole day to it? National Popcorn Day, celebrated on January 19th each year, is the perfect opportunity to indulge in this crunchy, buttery delight. But did you know that there’s more to popcorn than meets the eye? In this article, we’ll explore 20 fascinating facts about National Popcorn Day, shedding light on the origins of this tasty tradition, its cultural significance, and some surprising health benefits. So grab a bowl of popcorn, sit back, and let’s dig into these popcorn facts!

Table of Contents

Popcorn has been enjoyed for centuries

Popcorn has been around for thousands of years and has been a beloved snack for people of all ages.

National Popcorn Day is celebrated on January 19th

Every year on January 19th, popcorn lovers come together to celebrate this delicious treat.

Popcorn is made from a special type of corn

The corn used to make popcorn is known as “zea mays everta” and is specifically grown to have a high moisture content that allows it to pop.

The oldest evidence of popcorn dates back to around 3600 BC

Popcorn kernels and even popped popcorn were discovered in ancient Peruvian tombs, indicating its long history.

Popcorn is a whole grain snack

Unlike many other snacks, popcorn retains all parts of the kernel, making it a healthy and nutritious choice.

Popcorn is low in calories

Plain, air-popped popcorn is a light and low-calorie snack, making it a popular choice for those watching their calorie intake.

Popcorn is a source of fiber

One serving of popcorn provides a good amount of dietary fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive system.

Popcorn can be sweet or savory

While plain popcorn is delicious on its own, it can also be flavored with a variety of seasonings, including sweet or savory options.

Popcorn pops due to water inside the kernel expanding

The moisture content inside the kernel turns into steam when heated, causing the kernel to burst and transform into the fluffy snack we know and love.

The majority of popcorn consumed in the United States is consumed in movie theaters

Movie theaters are synonymous with popcorn, and it remains a staple snack for film-goers.

Popcorn has a unique scientific name

The scientific name for popcorn is “zea mays everta,” highlighting its distinction from other types of corn.

Popcorn kernels can pop up to three feet in the air

When heated, popcorn kernels can generate enough pressure to send them soaring several feet high.

Popcorn can be traced back to Native American cultures

Indigenous tribes in the Americas were some of the first to cultivate and consume popcorn, using it for various purposes.

The world’s largest popcorn ball weighed over 3,400 pounds

In 2006, a group of volunteers came together to create a massive popcorn ball weighing over 3,400 pounds in Illinois.

Popcorn is a versatile snack

Popcorn can be enjoyed plain, buttered, caramelized, coated in chocolate, or even as part of savory recipes like popcorn shrimp.

Popcorn is the official state snack of Illinois

In 2003, Illinois declared popcorn as its official state snack, recognizing its importance in the state’s agricultural industry.

Approximately 70% of the popcorn consumed worldwide is grown in the United States

The United States is the leading producer of popcorn, with vast fields dedicated to its cultivation.

Popcorn is a popular snack at sporting events

Whether it’s basketball, baseball, or football games, popcorn is a go-to snack for sports fans cheering on their favorite teams.

Popcorn has religious and ceremonial significance in some cultures

In certain Native American tribes, popcorn holds spiritual significance and is used in rituals and ceremonies.

Popcorn sales increase during National Popcorn Day

On National Popcorn Day, there is a significant spike in sales as people indulge in this delicious snack and celebrate its greatness.


National Popcorn Day is a fun and delicious holiday that celebrates the beloved snack of popcorn. With a rich history dating back to ancient civilizations, popcorn has become a popular treat enjoyed by people of all ages. From its humble beginnings as a simple corn kernel to its transformation into a fluffy and flavorful snack, popcorn has captured the hearts and taste buds of many.Whether you prefer it buttered, salted, or with a variety of unique flavors, National Popcorn Day is the perfect time to indulge in this crunchy delight. So gather your friends and family, pop some kernels, and enjoy this tasty holiday to the fullest. Remember, the possibilities are endless when it comes to enjoying popcorn, so get creative and explore new flavors and combinations. Happy National Popcorn Day!


1. When is National Popcorn Day?

National Popcorn Day is celebrated on January 19th every year.

2. How did National Popcorn Day originate?

The exact origin of National Popcorn Day is unknown, but it has been celebrated since the early 2000s as a way to honor and enjoy the popular snack.

3. How can I celebrate National Popcorn Day?

There are many ways to celebrate National Popcorn Day! You can host a movie night with friends and enjoy popcorn as a snack, try out new and unique popcorn flavors, or even make your own homemade popcorn from scratch.

4. What are some popular popcorn flavors?

Some popular popcorn flavors include butter, salt, caramel, cheese, and spicy varieties. You can also experiment with sweet and savory combinations for a unique twist.

5. Is popcorn a healthy snack?

Plain popcorn is actually a relatively healthy snack option. It is low in calories and fat, and a good source of fiber. However, be mindful of added ingredients like butter or excessive salt, which can increase the calorie and fat content.

6. Can I make popcorn at home without a microwave?

Absolutely! You can make popcorn at home without a microwave. All you need is a stovetop, a pot with a lid, and some popcorn kernels. Simply heat the pot with some oil, add the kernels, cover it with the lid, and wait for them to pop.

7. Can popcorn be a part of a gluten-free diet?

Yes, popcorn is naturally gluten-free. However, it is important to check the packaging or ingredients of flavored popcorn, as some may contain gluten-based additives or flavoring.

Remember to enjoy National Popcorn Day responsibly and savor every delicious bite of this beloved snack!