Popcorn has been an intricate part of movie culture for a long time. A cinema hall has to be filled with the aroma of butter and salt to feel like a proper theatre experience. Even before the existence of QFX Cinemas, a cinema experience in Nepal was incomplete without a big bag of popcorn, even though it was just salt and no butter. So, when butter-laden popcorn came into existence, I was blessed. Successively came cheese popcorn, then caramel popcorn, and I was blown. And just while I thought this relationship would go without a hitch, the virus hit hard. No movies, no popcorn! Or, so I thought.
Last week, when I received bagsful of Wow Popcorn, I knew I didn’t have to wait for a vaccine to enjoy a movie experience.
Before I divulge on what I think about the product, it is important to get a snippet of the brand. There are basically two segments to Wow: the packet or retail segment and the kiosk segment. The retail segment is obviously available at most retail stores in attractive packaging. The kiosk segments are the popcorn stalls seen in popular entertainment venues such as LABIM Mall and City Centre. I also found out that the kernel quality of the two segments are different; the latter being of higher grade — honestly, I wouldn’t be able to know that if I hadn’t been told.
Price: Rs.20 per pack (retail segment). Rs.100 to 150 for 60gms to 100gms of popcorn depending on the flavor (kiosk segment).
What I got?
I received Butter Salt, Super Cheesy and Masala flavored popcorns from their retail segment and a couple of cheese rings as a bonus. I also received a large mixed-bag pack of caramel and cheese — a weird combo I know but wait till you hear what I thought of it — from their kiosk segment. Along came two tiny paper bags to enjoy the popcorn in.
Taste test: Of all the flavors, two stood out for me, and for two completely different reasons. Let’s start with the weird one from the kiosk segment. I absolutely loved the caramel and cheese mixed bag. I wondered for a long time if the combination was a serendipitous mistake, in which case I’d have said that it was the best mistake of this year and to make it widely available already. But turns out, it is actually an available option. Again, call me whacky if you like but the marriage between cheese dust and bitter-sweet caramel was terrific; it was a match made in heaven. Kudos to the Wow team that made this combo possible. I didn’t know cheese-and-caramel popcorn is something I needed until I had it.
I believe the small paper bags were meant for this segment, but had I any conscience for portion, I wouldn’t have to work out as hard as I do. Basically, I devoured the entire bag by myself in one sitting while I binge watched BTS videos.
The second flavor that stood out was Masala Popcorn, and for all the wrong reasons. The spices reminded me of noodle condiments and while I love munching on uncooked instant noodles, it just didn’t work for me. This could, however, be a hit with some people, especially those who enjoy spicy food.
As for the rest of the flavors on the list, they were all good. I enjoyed stuffing my mouth with handful after handful of each flavored popcorn and the bonus cheese rings.
Overall verdict: Wow Popcorn could easily become an alternative to snacking on chips. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a healthier alternative, but it is a good option to have nonetheless. The range of different flavors adds to the fun of the product and limits the chances of it boring your taste buds. Moreover, with the kiosk segment open, you can get Wow Popcorn in large quantities to enjoy it at home while you binge watch a series on Netflix or a movie. Wow Popcorn is indeed bringing the movie experience to your living room and bedroom!
NOTE: Wow Popcorn kiosks have reopened in some of the outlets post lockdown with necessary measures in place. We urge you to maintain physical distance when at the outlets.
Akriti Shilpakar loves to write, read, and eat. She also occasionally jots down her thoughts on the blog The Chip in my Brain