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FDD Talk 2015: The Popcornopolis Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on May 15, 2015

in FDD Talk 2017: Food Franchises, Franchise Earnings, Popcorn Franchise



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Popcornopolis Photo by Harvey-Harv

In this FDD Talk 2015 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Popcornopolis franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Popcornopolis franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of Popcornopolis’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2014 actual gross sales for the 10 Popcornopolis Stores open during the entire 2014 fiscal year
  • 2014 average gross sales for the 10 Popcornopolis Stores open during the entire 2014 fiscal year

Section I – Background Information

Popcornopolis specializes in a nostalgic approach to innovative popcorn treats.

Founders Kathy and Wally Arnold were already used to taking ordinary products and transforming them into something extraordinary in their 30 years of experience in retail and branded consumer product development.

The couple experimented with a variety of different store models and spent considerable time honing different versions before launching their franchise efforts in order to ensure they had viable options.



Their approach pays close attention not only to the quality of the product offering, but also to the overall store experience, a key part of their business strategy. The entire operation aims to embody honesty, intentional craftsmanship, character, fun, and whimsy.

The company’s flagship store is at Universal Studios in Hollywood.

Here’s how the “Prada of Popcorn” keeps things popping:

Turning Popcorn Into a Gourmet Treat

Popcornopolis specializes in more than a dozen varieties of gourmet popcorns, from authentically slow cooked caramel corn, Zebra Chocolate Popcorn drizzled with both white and dark chocolate, and real cheddar cheese popcorn, to Cinnamon Toast, Lemon Heaven, and Almond Toffee popcorn.

Iconic Packaging

Their standard offerings come packaged in cones – open-top plastic cones for on-the-spot eating, or cone-shaped plastic bags twist-tied at the top for less-than-immediate gratification. Larger quantities can also be purchased in retro-styled decorative tins or cases of individual serving size snack bags.

The care and attention that has gone into the graphic design for the packaging is top-notch and evocative of simpler times.

Serving the Health-Conscious

Popcornopolis flavors are quite decadent, but the company also offers a line of six organic and natural versions of some of its most popular recipes, including Organic Caramel, Organic Cinnamon Toast, Organic Kettle Corn, Organic White Cheddar, and Natural Zebra Popcorn.

In general, the company takes a simpler, fresh-ingredients approach that avoids preservatives.

Made in Plain View

Whether it’s the chefs popping, the confectioners decorating, or the coners coning, watching the employees do their thing is all a part of the Popcornopolis experience. When’s the last time you could watch someone take a big scoop of fresh warm caramel and pour it over your popcorn and then put it in your hand? That’s how Popcornopolis keeps people coming back for more.

Flexibility in Sales Channels

Besides being a great treat to eat, the founders realized there was a lot of potential in marketing its products as gifts. It puts together various holiday-themed offerings for Christmas, New Year’s, Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Graduation, Father’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah. The products can also be used by groups of all kinds for fundraisers.



Multiple Shop Models

Popcornopolis has three different models for locations to ensure placements that make the most sense. Options include in-line locations (600-1,500 sq. ft.) for regional malls and outdoor shopping/entertainment venues; kiosks (150-300 sq. ft.) for smaller shopping venues and airports; and customized satellite retail units for more mobile extensions of a store, such as the vintage Airstream trailer converted into a retail unit inside Universal Studios in Hollywood.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Popcornopolis franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD.

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2015 FDD) and Analysis



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