Transcript for Is gourmet popcorn worth the price tag?
frugal foodie series and this morning it's all about the popul popular snack popcorn. Yes, get excited for the popcorn. There are more options than ever but do you have to spend a lot to get a great bag and, Mara, you got to the bottom of it. Deep investigation. Popcorn sales are skyrocketing with Americans eating 3 billion gallons a year. New gourmet flavors ranging from the simple to exotic. Impressive number. So as the variety goes up so does the price tag. Some premade brands costing eight times what you would pay if you made it yourself at home so we wanted to find out is it really worth the cost? Wow. Popcorn, it's not just for the movies anymore. From cheesy to chocolaty healthy to indulgent popcorn is more popular than ever. Ready to eat popcorn? Very high quality brands coming out with new and exciting products that really are exactly what consumers are looking for. Reporter: With the average bag of organic popcorn costing as much as $5 we wanted to know if these new products are worth the price. So we asked self-proclaimed popcorn expert Carla music of "bon appetit" to device a taste test. I make it twice a week. Reporter: A comparison between ready made, Gour anyway at $5 a bag and microwave at $4 for an equivalent portion and kernel popcorn on the stove just 60 cents for the same amount. Carla seasoned the popcorn with olive oil and Saul. The same flavor profile as the $5 gourmet popcorn. Our expert taste testers movie buffs, of course. Popcorn is sort of the smell of the movies. Film critics, writers and editors from indywire, slate, variety, "People" magazine and "The Hollywood reporter." One of my favorites is popcorn with milk duds. Grew up with jiffy pop and loved it before I was a movie buff. Reporter: Time to dig in. We asked them to choose their favorite. A, B, or C. Hole them up. "A." Everybody liked "A" the best. It held the seasonings the best. I like the crunch and texture. Salt is a magical thing and as soon as I tasted that it was game over. Let's find out which one "A" was. Tah-dah. Reporter: "A" was the kernel corn our least expensive popcorn at just 60 cents and the one that Carla cooked and seasoned herself. It was really interesting that you guys detected like different amounts of salt because it was the same in all of them. Reporter: "B" was our $4 micro wave popcorn and "C" was the pricier bag popcorn. I'm amazed. It's like the movies. Sometimes the most expensive produced film is not necessarily the best. Now, there is another reason that some of the brands of popcorn are more expensive. Those Gour anyway kernels are harder to grow because they pop up bigger. The good news estimated that 70% of us eat popcorn at home so you can make it yourself. On the stove and sneak it into the movie theater. Really. Put it in a bag and sneak it into the theater. We're learning so much about you today, Mara. Very frugal of. You very frugal. You want to spice it up at home. Talk about popcorn. Adam Rapoport from "bon appetit" and you're going to help us spice it up. Most eat at home, what's the way they can spice up their popcorn. Three ways. You probably thought there was only one way. We got salty, spicy and sweet. Salty first. Homemade herb salt. Do your thing. There you go. Come on. Here we took -- one more time. Come on. He's been waiting all morning to do that. Yes, I have. Rosemary and thyme, in a food processor, salt, herbs, what you want, you need a little fat on your popcorn. Whether it's butter, avocado oil, toasted coconut oil. You need something so the salt adheres to the popcorn. You need a little bit. Buffalo, hot sauce and butter, mix it together and then just toss it up. Cannot get any better than that. All right. Oldest trick in the book, the movie theater book, take your popcorn and mix in your favorite candy. What's yours? Sour patch. Could not be easier. Sour patch kids. What are you like 8 years old. Whoo, whoo. Whoo. Got some kick. Oh, boy. I'm a peanut m&ms guy. You got the peanuts already in there and sweet stuff. Hey, man, you got to talk, I'm eating. All right. Let's mix it up. Easy, pop and treschl at home. Olive oil, butter, something and season your popcorn. Sara is sitting there at the desk. With my friends max and Sam. What you making over there. We are making -- well, what is your favorite candy to put in there, come on in there, Amy. Eat popcorn with us. Jump in here. What do you want to put in there? The oreos. I'm a raisinet girl. And you're putting in everything. What did you put in there. I put milk dud, hot tamales, raisinets. We're going to keep eating it. "Bon appetit"'s April issue on newsstands now, coming up, Kristen, Anthony Anderson.
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