Finding popcorn without palm oil is possible. You must read the labels. As with everything, the fewer ingredients, the better.
You can always make your own from an air popper or on the stovetop. Air fryer popcorn is easy and fun to make as well. However, it’s great to have the option to buy pre-popped popcorn for convenience, as an easy snack, and when you’re on the go.
How to Find Popcorn without Palm Oil
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Yes, it’s convenient and delicious, but do not buy microwave popcorn as it almost always contains palm oil. Quinn Snacks is the only brand of microwave popcorn without palm oil.
Regarding bags of already-popped popcorn, unless you know for certain they’re palm oil free, it’s best to avoid more gourmet flavors such as chocolate, coated varieties, and all holiday varieties. Typically, specialty holiday flavored popcorn contain palm oil.
Ask before buying popcorn at movie theaters, sports events, stadiums, and events. They may contain coconut oil but often are made with palm oil and palm oil ingredients (because palm oil is cheap).
Palm Oil Ingredients in Popcorn
Many popcorn brands and flavors contain palm oil derivatives that don’t have the word “palm” in the ingredients. They can appear in Natural Flavors, Medium Chain Triglycerides, and more.
- Palm oil
- Palm kernel oil
- Medium chain triglycerides
- Natural flavors
Popcorn without Palm Oil
Please support these choices of palm oil free popcorn. To the best of our knowledge, these do not contain palm oil ingredients. However, this list is not guaranteed. None of these popcorns are certified Palm Oil Free.
Support products with Palm Oil Free certified labeling. Two companies which certify are Orangutan Alliance and the Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark.
Skinny Pop popcorn brand has three types of products: Popped Popcorn, Popcorn Mini Cakes, and Microwave Popcorn. Their two flavors of Microwave Popcorn contain palm oil. They do an excellent job of listing their ingredients for each of their products. I do wish they would spell out the source of the Natural Flavors in their products.
Skinny Pop Popped Popcorn
- Original: Popcorn, sunflower oil and salt
- Sea Salt & Pepper: Popcorn, sunflower oil, sea salt and black pepper.
- Sweet and Salty Kettle: Popcorn, sunflower oil, cane sugar and salt.
NATURAL FLAVORS: These Skinny Pop flavors below contain Natural Flavors. I do not know the source of the Natural Flavors and whether or not they contain palm oil:
- Aged White Cheddar: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Organic Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized Organic Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Organic Whey, Salt, Organic Non-Fat Dry Milk, Natural Flavors, Lactic Acid Powder, Yeast Extract.
- White Cheddar Flavor: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Natural Non-Dairy Cheddar Flavor, Salt, Rice Flour, Natural Flavor, and Lactic Acid.
- Real Butter: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Organic Whey, Organic Butter, Organic Non-Fat Dry Milk, Salt, Natural Flavors.
- Twist of Lime: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Rice Flour, Sugar, Sea Salt, Citric Acid (for flavor), Natural Lime Flavor, and Natural Flavors.
- Sweet Vanilla Kettle: Popcorn, Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Rice Flour, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Natural Flavors, and Vanilla Bean.
Skinny Pop Popcorn Mini Cakes
- Sea Salt: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil and Sea Salt.
- Sharp Cheddar Flavor: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Rice Flour, Sea Salt, Natural Non-Dairy Cheddar Flavor, Lactic Acid and Paprika Extract.
- Cinnamon & Sugar: Popcorn, Cane Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Cinnamon and Sea Salt.
- Everything Bagel: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Garlic, Onion, Poppy Seeds, and Spices.
NATURAL FLAVORS: These Skinny Pop Popcorn Mini Cakes contain Natural Flavors but the source isn’t identified:
- Salted Caramel: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Sugar, Natural Flavor, Salt, and Caramelized Sugar.
I love Skinny Pop. It’s a great snack for home and on the road. The Skinny Pop Mini Cakes are amazing. They are a fun way to eat popcorn in a small version of a rice cake. They are excellent for lunchboxes and snacks. We regularly buy the Sea Salt and Cinnamon & Sugar Mini Cakes. Sometimes we mix the Sea Salt with one of the other flavors for a sweet and salty mix.
Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop
Angie’s BoomChickaPop has four categories of products: Ready-to-Eat Popcorn, Microwave Popcorn, Seasonal Popcorn, and Multipacks.
Their three flavors of Microwave Popcorn all contain pressed palm oil. If you are avoiding palm oil, you should also avoid their Seasonal Popcorn flavors which always contain palm oil. Typically, the more the “exotic” the flavor, the greater chance for palm oil.
Angie’s could do a better job of listing the ingredients for each of their products on their website. Most of them are there, but you have to click on the smartlabel link on each product’s page. While they give detailed descriptions for many ingredients, they are vague when it comes to the Natural Flavors.
Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Ready-to-Eat Popcorn
- Sea Salt Popcorn: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt
- Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Cane Sugar, Sea Salt
- Light Kettle Corn: Popcorn, Cane Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt
- Real Butter Popcorn: Popcorn, Clarified Butter, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt
NATURAL FLAVORS: These contain Natural Flavors which may or may not be derived from palm oil:
- Cheddar Cheese Popcorn: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Cheese Seasoning, Buttermilk, Salt, Cultured Whole Milk, Nonfat Dry Milk, Paprika Extract, Lactic Acid, Natural Flavor
- Caramel Cheddar: Popcorn, Cane Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Cheese Seasoning (includes Natural Flavors), Brown Rice Syrup, Butter, Molasses, Sea Salt, Canola Lecithin
Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Multipacks
- Sea Salt Popcorn Multipack: The ingredients aren’t loading but I believe this is made without palm oil.
- Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Cane Sugar, Sea Salt
Ever since Costco started selling Angie’s Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn, our family buys several bags monthly. My family and I love this popcorn. It’s unbelievably great — the perfect blend of sugar and salt. It’s a convenient and healthy sweet treat for our family and fun to serve at parties. We’ve also had Angie’s Sea Salt Popcorn, which is also delicious.
Their specialty gourmet seasonal flavors, like Candy Corn flavored Kettle Corn and Pumpkin Spice Kettle Corn, contain palm oil and palm kernel oil. Other holiday versions, such as White Chocolate & Peppermint Flavored Drizzled Kettle Corn and their Hot Cocoa Marshmallow contain palm kernel oil.
I avoid the holiday flavors of popcorn, other snacks, and candy. They typically have more ingredients than regular versions and often include palm oil.
Lesser Evil Buddha Bowl
Lesser Evil uses organic ingredients in their popcorn. They list their ingredients on their website clearly, though they take a few seconds to load.
Many of the products contain Organic Butter-Type Flavor. They don’t spell out what this means. Because I don’t know if it contains palm oil, I’m not including them as palm oil free popcorn options below. Many butter blends, imitation butters, vegan butters, and most all margarine contains palm oil.
This is how Lesser Evil explains their Organic Butter-Type Flavor in their Himalayan Gold Popcorn description: We blend our plant-based butter alternative with organic coconut oil, …” The fact that Lesser Evil doesn’t say what the “plant-based butter alternative” is strange when they are quick to spell out the organic coconut oil.
Lesser Evil Organic Popcorn
- Himalayan Pink Salt: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- Oh My Ghee!: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, Organic Ghee, Himalayan Salt
- Avocado-Licious: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, Organic Avocado Oil , Organic Coconut Oil, Himalayan Salt
- Himalayan Sweetness: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Organic Flavor, Organic Sunflower Lecithin
- Fiery Hot!: Organic Non-GMO popcorn, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Tapioca Solids, Sea Salt, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Red Bell Pepper Powder, Organic Jalapeño Pepper Powder, Organic Yeast Extract, Organic White Distilled Vinegar, Organic Spices, Organic Nutritional Yeast, Organic Flavor, Citric Acid, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Annatto Extract, Organic Habanero Pepper
Lesser Evil Seasonal Popcorn
- Jurassic Pop. Dino-mite Taste! Himalayan Pink Salt: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Himalayan Salt
- Pumpkin Spice: Organic Non-GMO popcorn, Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Pumpkin Spice Seasoning (Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Spices, Himalayan Crystal Salt), Himalayan Salt, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Organic Annatto Extract
Contains Organic Butter-Type Flavor. I don’t know if it contains palm oil:
- “No Cheese” Cheesiness: Contains Organic Butter-Type Flavor
- Himalayan Gold: Contains Organic Butter-Type Flavor
- Mixed Berry: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Himalayan Salt. They ONLY LIST THREE INGREDIENTS for this product on their website but it seems INCOMPLETE as there aren’t berries in it.
Lesser Evil Summer Organic Popcorn
- Lemonade Popcorn: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Lemonade Seasoning (Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Organic Lemon Flavor, Citric Acid, Organic Lemon Juice, Organic Lemon Oil
- Peach Mango: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Peach Mango Seasoning (Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Flavor, Organic Mango Powder, Citric Acid, Organic Annatto Extract)
- Watermelon Hibiscus: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Watermelon Hibiscus Seasoning (Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Tapioca Solids, Organic Hibiscus Flavor, Organic Beet Powder, Organic Watermelon Flavor (Contains Organic Watermelon Juice), Himalayan Crystal Salt, Citric Acid)
Their organic popcorn uses quality ingredients. Depending on the flavor, some ingredients include Himalayan salt, organic extra-virgin coconut oil, and/or extra-virgin avocado oil. Hopefully, they will disclose what makes up their Organic Butter-Type Flavor.
O Organics Popcorn
- Sea Salt: Organic Popcorn, Organic Expeller Pressed Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Safflower and/or Canola), Sea Salt
- Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn: Organic Popcorn, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Expeller Pressed Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Safflower and/or Canola), Sea Salt
- White Cheddar Popcorn: Organic Popcorn, Organic Expeller Pressed Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Safflower and/or Canola), Organic White Cheddar Cheese Powder (Organic Cultured Pasteurized Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Organic Nonfat Dry Milk, Sea Salt
- Sea Salt & Olive Oil: Organic Popcorn, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt
I often buy the O Organics Sea Salt Popcorn when it’s on sale at Safeway, my local grocery store. It’s delicious. I love being able to buy organic popcorn for the same price as non-organic (when it’s on sale).
Back when I first wrote this post in 2018, Popcornopolis did not include their ingredients. Here it is in 2022, and they still DO NOT INCLUDE THEIR INGREDIENTS on their website. Because they aren’t listed, and we aren’t able to find all of their flavors in stores, we can’t cross-reference their ingredients to check for palm oil.
Popcornopolis has several flavors of popcorn. I’m not sure why they aren’t sharing their ingredients’ information.
- Nearly Naked Popcorn: Popcorn, Coconut Oil, Salt
My family enjoys the large bag of Popcornopolis’s Nearly Naked Popcorn when we see it at Costco. Unfortunately, it’s not always available. We buy it when it is. This popcorn is delicious and very flavorful. There are just a few kernels at the bottom of the bag. My kids, husband and I all love it.
Before buying, you must be aware of what makes up the flavors. Choosing more basic flavors such as Cheddar will likely have less chance of palm oil than a flavor with icing and a long list of ingredients such as their Unicorn, Double Drizzle, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.
My local grocery store had Popcornopolis Pumpkin Spice Popcorn. It listed the following ingredients:
Pumpkin Spice Popcorn Cone: Sugar, Popcorn, Coconut Oil and/or Palm Kernel Oil, Whey, Sunflower Oil, Milk, Spices (Cinnamon, Ginger Root, Nutmeg, Cloves, Sea Salt, Annatto Extract (for color), Natural Flavors, Sunflower Lecithin, Soy, Vanilla Extract
Simple Truth is a Kroger brand with organic and non-organic lines. I could only find their Kettle Popcorn online. However, it’s likely their regular, “plain” popcorn is okay. Please read labels before buying.
- Kettle Popcorn: Popcorn, Cane Sugar, Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil, Sea Salt.
While it’s not available everywhere, we were able to purchase this popcorn at Kroger-owned stores.
They have a lot of flavors and clearly list their ingredients on their website. Smartfood’s Movie Theatre Butter flavor is an example of how popcorn companies can use palm oil ingredients in their popcorn. It contains Medium Chain Triglycerides and Tocopherols. These are often made from palm oil.
I don’t see a Caramel Corn on their website though they have a Cheddar and Caramel Corn mix listed.
- Sea Salt: Popcorn, Vegetable Oil, (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), and Sea Salt
NATURAL FLAVORS: I do not know the source of the Natural Flavors in SmartFood’s popcorn. I do not know if these flavors contains palm oil.
- Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn: Sugar, Popcorn, Canola Oil, Corn Syrup, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, Rosemary Extract (Antioxidant), and Ascorbic Acid (Antioxidant)
- White Cheddar Popcorn: Popcorn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Buttermilk, Natural Flavor, and Salt
- Flamin’ Hot White Cheddar: Popcorn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Maltodextrin (Made from Corn), Buttermilk, Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Natural Flavors, Salt, Romano Cheese (Cow’s Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Potassium Chloride, Artificial Color (Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5), Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Lactose, Whey Protein Concentrate, and Sodium Caseinate
- Caramel Cheddar Mix: SMARTFOOD® Caramel Popcorn: Butter (Cream, Salt), Corn Syrup, Popcorn, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Salt, and Sunflower Lecithin. SMARTFOOD® Cheddar Cheese Flavored Popcorn: Popcorn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Maltodextrin (Made from Corn), Whey, Salt, Cheddar Cheese (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Buttermilk, Artificial Color (Yellow 5, Yellow 6), Natural Flavors, Sugar, Parmesan Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Butter (Cream, Annatto), Gum Acacia, Paprika, and Guar Gum.
Read labels. Some of their flavors include Medium Chain Triglycerides which can be made from palm oil.
Buttered Popcorn Flavors
When you are looking for palm oil free popcorn, you need to carefully read the labels for buttered popcorn. Many times, you will see ingredients such as Tocopherols, and/or Medium Chain Triglycerides. These typically contain palm oil. If you are avoiding palm oil, choose popcorn with as few ingredients as possible. This is typically just the Sea Salt flavor.
Remember, you must avoid microwave popcorn unless you buy this one brand from Quinn as explained below. Otherwise, every single brand we researched contains palm oil or palm kernel oil. If you look at the ingredients in stores, you will see this for yourself.
Microwave Popcorn without Palm Oil
This is the ONLY BRAND of MICROWAVE POPCORN I’ve found that doesn’t contain palm oil.
Quinn Snacks Microwave Popcorn
Cheers to Quinn Snacks for being the only company I have ever seen to make and keep their microwave popcorn palm oil free.
- Aged Parmesan & Rosemary: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn Kernels*, Organic High Oleic Sunﬂower Oil*, Parmesan Cheese (Whole Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Sea Salt, Dried Rosemary. *Denotes Certified Organic
- Real Butter & Sea Salt: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn Kernels*, Organic High Oleic Sunﬂower Oil*, Dried Butter Powder (Cream, Salt, Buttermilk), Sea Salt
- White Cheddar & Sea Salt: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn Kernels*, Organic High Oleic Sunﬂower Oil*, Dried Cheddar Cheese, Sea Salt
- Just Sea Salt: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn Kernels*, Sea Salt
- Vermont Maple Kettle Corn: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn Kernels*, Organic High Oleic Sunﬂower Oil*, Maple Sugar, Sea Salt
We are grateful to Quinn Snacks for being so innovative with their microwave popcorn. We appreciate them using such quality ingredients.
They used to make a Real Movie Theater Butter product that contained organic red palm oil. However, I do not see it on their website which is great news! Note it was listed as organic, fair trade and sustainable. However, we avoid all palm oil.
Popcorn at Events
Palm oil is cheap. That’s why companies use it. If you are at the movie theater or sports venue, etc., you will have to ask about the ingredients. We usually avoid it unless we speak to the manager. It might contain palm oil. Additionally, it is likely to contain many artificial ingredients.
Make Homemade Popcorn Palm Free
While at home, you can make homemade popcorn. It’s easy and doesn’t take long, especially if you have an air popper. Then, you can add your own salt, real butter, cheese or caramel creations, knowing exactly what it is.
We use a Hamilton Beach Hot Air Popcorn Popper. It’s simple enough for my kids to use, fast, and pops practically all the kernels.
Best oil for popcorn
Extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil make for tasty popcorn.
Butter for popcorn
If you want to add butter, be sure to use real butter and not margarine or imitation butters, all of which contain palm oil. Many vegan butters contain palm oil.
Palm Oil Free Popcorn
Popcorn is a healthy snack. Plain, it’s low in calories and fun to eat. Popcorn kernels are ideal pantry staples. Popping it at home is more eco-friendly and also less expensive than buying pre-popped popcorn.
When you are at the store, just remember to read all labels. Look for simple ingredients such as popcorn, coconut oil or olive oil, and salt so you know what you are getting.
Many times, the label won’t spell out “palm oil” but it still may contain palm oil derivatives.
Please support these flavors of popcorn without palm oil, palm kernel oil, and palm oil ingredients such as Tocopherols and Medium Chain Triglycerides. Let companies know you want products without it.
See the palm oil free foods list my son eats when living palm oil free. Due to his palm oil intolerance, we rely on popcorn a lot for an easy snack.
Know that while we work very hard to live without palm oil, we aren’t food scientists or medical professionals. We gathered this information by researching popcorn in stores and online; reaching out to manufacturers; and learning all we can about the names for palm oil. Please always read ingredient labels when you are looking for popcorn without palm oil.
This list is meant for reference only and isn’t guaranteed. It’s important to know the SOURCE OF EACH INGREDIENT. Also, palm oil can hide in “Natural Flavors” and other ingredients.
By encouraging companies to become Palm Oil Free certified, consumers will know which products are truly palm oil free. Read more about the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark which is approved in 20+ countries, including the United States. Orangutan Alliance is another company that certifies products palm oil free.
If you know of other palm oil free popcorn brands, please let us know in the Comments. Why do you avoid palm oil? It it getting harder to find palm oil free options?