Press Room

Press Release

JOLLY TIME® and the American history of popcorn

1492Columbus receives popcorn from the Native Americans.
1620The first Thanksgiving includes bowlfuls of popped popcorn brought by Native Americans.
1700sColonial women from Boston to the Carolinas make the first breakfast cereal by pouring milk and sugar over popped popcorn.
1885Popcorn is introduced to Sac County, Iowa, farmers.  Because of the area's ideal growing conditions, Sac County quickly gains the reputation as the "popcorn capital of the world."  Yet consistency is a problem - you have to pop a lot to enjoy just a few tasty morsels.
1914The American Pop Corn Company, makers of JOLLY TIME® Pop Corn, is born.  Cloid H. Smith creates America's first branded popcorn and the first popcorn available on the grocer's shelf.
1920sThe majority of popcorn is sold in bulk.  Local vendors operate popcorn wagons on busy corners.  Nearly all popcorn grown is of the white variety.
1930sJOLLY TIME®'s radio program, "General Jolly Time and his Pop Corn Colonels," makes popcorn poppers available by mail for just one dollar.  Though money is tight during the Depression, a 10-ounce tin of JOLLY TIME® pops enough popcorn for an entire family and costs as little as a dime.

As more and more movie theaters add popcorn machines, popcorn's popularity also grows.
1939On its 25th birthday, JOLLY TIME® is named the "World's Largest Popcorn Producer."

American Pop Corn Company sells 75,000 cases of JOLLY TIME® cans.
1949Within one decade, the number of cases sold of JOLLY TIME® cans increases more than six-fold to 500,000.
1956 - 1957Arthur Godfrey, on his popular CBS radio show, broadcast nationwide, personally endorses JOLLY TIME® as "the world's best popcorn."
1968JOLLY TIME® enters the realm of national network television advertising with spots on the popular game show "Let's Make A Deal.
1976Over the past decade, JOLLY TIME® sales in pounds more than double and quadruple in dollars.
1972Wrede Smith, Cloid's grandson, serves as The Popcorn Institute President.
1980The nationally known weight loss franchise, Weight Watchers®, embraces popcorn as an accepted Weight Watchers® program snack.  Later, medical experts endorse popcorn as a high-fiber food and recommend it to diet-conscious consumers.
1983JOLLY TIME®'s first microwave popcorn launches and takes the country by storm.  JOLLY TIME® Natural Butter Flavored and Natural Flavor are introduced first, followed by Cheddar Cheese Flavor in 1988.
1986Popcorn ranks in the top 5% of the fastest growing snack food categories.
1988Americans eat 12.9 billion quarts of popcorn annually, or 52 quarts per person, 70% of which is eaten at home.
1991JOLLY TIME® introduces American's Best®, the first nationally distributed popcorn to display the Better-Life® grains seal on its label.  The seal guarantees the popcorn has been grown without chemical pesticides.

Also that same year, 100% All Natural Butter Flavored and Natural Flavor Microwave Pop Corn become the first national varieties of microwave popcorn to be packaged without artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
2000 -
Present Day
JOLLY TIME® continues to develop as many as 500 hybrids each year in its ongoing effort to produce the highest quality popping and best tasting popcorn.

JOLLY TIME® is the only brand to give the choice of both golden, fluffy yellow and tender, tasty white popcorn.

JOLLY TIME® is now run by the fourth generation of Smiths - Carlton and Garrett Smith (a.k.a. Garry) - first cousins and great-grandsons of Cloid H. Smith, company founder.