Taste Test

Act II, America’s Best, Jolly Time, and Popperoo: 4 Brands of Microwavable Butter Popcorn

August 5, 2019

The cinema experience just ain’t the same without a bucket of popcorn by your side. It’s crunchy yet light—perfect for stuffing your face as you fawn over the jam-packed action scenes of your fave Hollywood films. It can also be flavored in many different ways, butter being one of the most popular. Thanks to the power of ~technology~—by which we mean the microwave—you can take the popcorn-munching experience home (and have it ready in three minutes or less). How do the different brands of microwaveable popcorn compare?

Act II (Butter Flavor)

Right off the microwave, this brand gives off a good buttery aroma that brings to mind that of movie popcorn joints. Notably, this brand stands out for its barely-there amount of saltiness. They smell more buttery than they actually are, however, as the actual taste comes closer to what a member of the team describes as a “traditional fake butter” flavor. The butter distribution is also inconsistent, with some kernels coming more buttery and others barely coated.

American’s Best (Butter Flavor)

American’s Best (which is also manufactured by Jolly Time; we included it in the lineup anyway given the difference in ingredients) takes on a pale yellow hue. It’s mid-level in saltiness and gives you a fake-buttery flavor during your first few bites, but has an odd aftertaste we can best describe as being coconut-y. (This may be due to the use of palm oil as stated in the ingredients.)

Jolly Time (Butter-licious)

Jolly Time also gives off a strong buttery aroma. On one hand, it’s the saltiest of the bunch; eating too many in one sitting can be overpowering. On the other hand, it’s also the most buttery, drawing us in from start to end with its unmistakeable, real-deal taste of butter that lingers long on the tongue. Best of all, it’s uniformly buttery from kernel to kernel, ensuring a good, (in their words) “butter-licious” hit in every handful.

Popperoo (Butter Overload)

Popperoo’s version is on the pale-looking side like America’s Best. Also mid-level in saltiness, it has an odd flavor that members of the team describe as tasting “old,” “ipis-like” (!), and just plain artificial. Worst of all, it has a plasticky aftertaste and leaves a slick, greasy feel on the tongue as you swallow.

The Verdict: Jolly Time

With its real buttery flavor and consistent butter distribution, Jolly Time immediately wins over the members of our team. Act II’s come close; it’s not quite as buttery, but its mild saltiness makes it easy to consume a bag in one go.

Patricia Baes SEE AUTHOR Patricia Baes

Trish thinks too much about everything—truth, existence.....and what’s on her plate. Her ongoing quest for a better relationship with food has led to a passion for cooking, gastronomy, and a newfound interest in its politics. She dreams of perfecting the art of making soufflé with her crappy toaster oven.

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