I have become a popcorn peddler. We are handing out popcorn samples as quickly as we can make them. It’ss part of a drive to get as much right as we can before production starts on our fist product run. We have received tons of feedback and it’ss had a huge impact on the product. I spent this Saturday making new kits to give away. It takes a ton of time and it’ss super tedious, but, I believe it’ss worth it!
Filling the bags take 7 steps. Filling the oil and flavor pouch takes 4 each. Then there are 5 more to put it all together. Overall I think it’ss about 2-3 minutes per set. That adds up quick. The amazing part is that I am almost out of pouches and I started with a thousand of them. I have filled so many bags that I have developed the little tricks and uncanny fluidity that comes with repetitive, mindless, hand labor. And, yes, I am a little proud of that.
A weekend ago we brought a duffel bag of samples to some friends. Before giving it all away we tried a few bags together, and it quickly become apparent that we were overdoing the flavors. After hearing and seeing everyones reaction and tasting simultaneously it was immediately obvious that we need to cut the amount of cheese and maple in each of those flavors. I eat so much popcorn that it’ss getting tough to have any perspective on these things. It all tasted fine to me until that moment. I don’st know, I just think that’ss pretty cool.
We also continue to ship sample kits. The shipping logistics have been a rough, but we getting them out a few a time now. In most kits we have included a Flip video camera and the videos continue to be amazing. There is usually a vast difference between the experience that people report and what we see on the video. A few times I was told that everything went perfectly only to see the bag rip in half on the video or a cheap microwave only popped half the kernels.
It’ss impossible to catalog all of the flavor, branding, packaging, etc. changes that have occurred due to the feedback from testing and the blog. The videos, for example, have us frantically working with the bag manufacturer to tweak (weaken) the glue that hold the bag close as well as twisting the arm of our pouch manufacturer to add a spout to the oil pouch.
Thing is, at some point we just need to sign off and start making product for sale. It’ss not going to be perfect, but that’ss expected and we can make changes for the next round of production. Assuming, of course, there is a next round…
Let us know if you want a sample kit and we will drop it in the mail. We had a tone of requests but are finally catching up.