As foodies and long-time fans of Food Network, we dream of opportunities for this kind of publicity and recognition… but we also know that the quality of the product has to stand out in order to be considered by the big boys. You never know who is tasting your products and talking about them, so consistency and quality can never be compromised.
Obviously we’re proud of the honor and I love to talk about it when I’m out at our tasting events around town. When people hear about the feature, they often ask, “How did you manage to get into Food Network Magazine?”… So here’s how it happened:
Did we blindly send popcorn to the magazine or have someone on the inside recommend us? No. In mid-February we were contacted by the editorial staff who said that they were considering our popcorn for a feature in an upcoming summer issue of the magazine. They requested a sample of Butter Rum & Cranberry Crunch, which was (at that time) only a winter seasonal offering that was about to be retired for the year around March 1. I was a bit puzzled as to how a flavor like that would fit in a summer issue, but I was in no position to question them or to refuse their request. Who in their right minds would tell Food Network that they CAN’T have what they asked for?
Apparently, I was also in no position to think rationally, as I wondered if this request for popcorn was just a disguise for something bigger and badder? Was Bobby Flay going to show up at CrunchDaddy HQ and challenge me to a caramel popcorn Throwdown? I’ve seen Food Network TV do cupcake wars and doughnut battles… so why not popcorn? Did Giada de Laurentiis finally receive one of my fawning fan mails/marriage proposals?
Back in the real world… I joyfully assembled a package of popcorn for the magazine staff which included samples of two other popular caramel popcorn flavors that we make… hoping the editors would favor one of them so I could retire Butter Rum & Cranberry Crunch until the next holiday season. It was likely that I would not hear any news from the editors for several weeks or even months, so I convinced myself to forget about it and let the kernels fall where they may, lest I lose valuable sleep.
In all honesty, I had been down this road once before and lost a lot of sleep over it. Two years ago we were asked to submit a flavor for consideration in a holiday gift guide on FoodNetwork.com… but that ended in disappointment as our product wasn’t included… quite the let-down… and still fresh in my memory.
Fortunately, we were in for a much better result this time around! Less than a month after our submission to Food Network Magazine, the editorial staff informed me that our Butter Rum & Cranberry Crunch would be included in a gourmet popcorn feature in the June 2015 edition! Because of that, Butter Rum & Cranberry Crunch has been available throughout 2015. You can view the on-line edition of this feature here (we’re the fifth one in the gallery): Any Way You Pop It…