Jolly Time Pop Corn turns 100 years old this October and is celebrating its birthday with fun initiatives, including a grassroots community awards program called Kernels of Kindness and a consumer giveaway of Jolly Time Pop Corn birthday bowls.
Jolly Time was founded by Cloid Smith in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1914. Smith and his son, Howard, hand-shelled the popcorn themselves in the basement of their home. An entrepreneur at heart, Cloid Smith pioneered the U.S. popcorn industry, personally selling his product to small grocers and street cart popcorn vendors. As the Smith family grew, so did the legacy of Jolly Time Pop Corn.
Over time, the line of products has evolved to thrive in an ever-changing snack food market. The 1950s brought both entertainment and popcorn out of the movie theater and into the home. In the 1980s, popping popcorn became even more convenient with the advent of microwave popcorn. And, by the early 2000s, customer influence resulted in the creation of new popcorn varieties in line with more health-conscious snacking. Jolly Time Pop Corn says it has popped alongside families through all of it.
“Our greatest joy and constant motivation is bringing families and friends together,” said Garry Smith, Jolly Time Pop Corn president and fourth-generation member of the Smith family to lead the company. “We’re honored to have shared quality time with loved ones over a century—game nights, movies, parties, sporting events and, of course, popcorn.”
Today, Jolly Time remains a family-owned business and has sold nearly three billion pounds of popcorn. Jolly Time offers its American-grown products in grocery stores nationwide and in nearly 40 countries around the globe. Jolly Time Pop Corn is gluten free and is made using non-GMO popcorn. The company’s products have carried the Good Housekeeping Seal since 1925, longer than any other food product. From classic flavor such as Blast O’ Butter, Crispy ’N White, Healthy Pop and KettleMania, to more contemporary spins such as Mallow Magic and Jalapeno Butter, as well as innovative partnerships with Weight Watchers and Smart Balance, Jolly Time says it embraces an entrepreneurial spirit while remaining true to its deep roots.
Kernels of Kindness
Jolly Time’s Kernels of Kindness campaign is a national grassroots program awarding $1,000 to 100 people and organizations around the country who bring joy and happiness to others by doing good in their communities. Nominations currently are being reviewed; Jolly Time judges will determine the 100 winners and their stories will be shared via the Jolly Time website and on social media. Everyone who submitted a nomination received a coupon for a 3- or 4-count pack of Jolly Time Microwave Pop Corn.
“I know my great-grandfather, grandfather and father would all be proud that we are still a family-owned company,” said Smith. “But beyond that, they’d be proud of Jolly Time’s continued commitment to our community. In celebration of our 100th year, we wanted to extend that commitment to communities across the U.S. We’re very excited to see what $100,000 of good will bring.”
Birthday popcorn bowl
Jolly Time was among the first recorded companies to offer free gifts to customers in exchange for them mailing in proofs of purchase in the late 1950s. Jolly Time continues that tradition today, offering fun incentives for products that customers already buy and love. For its big birthday this year, Jolly Time invites families to celebrate its birthday, too. With six proofs of purchase from any Jolly Time Pop Corn product, fans can mail in for a free limited-edition Jolly Time Pop Corn 100th birthday popcorn bowl.