Archive | January, 2015

Ten Treats for Healthy Superbowl Snacking

30 Jan

Across the nation, friends and family alike are preparing to gather together in celebration of one of America’s greatest pastimes- football. That’s right – it’s SuperBowl season, once more! And, while the Superbowl offers an excellent opportunity to join loved ones for a much-needed day of fun and festivity, a full day of tailgating and junk-food snacking can leave everyone feeling the post-game slump.

According to the U.S. Calorie Control Council, the average Super Bowl watcher will scarf down more than 1,200 calories (and 50 grams of fat!) during game-time snacking – more than half of the average recommended daily caloric intake. Together, the CCC estimates that Americans will consume more than 30 million pounds of snacks on game day – including 19 million pounds of high-fat potato and tortilla chips.

At Popcorn Palace, we believe that a great snack should be both delicious and nutritious. Which is why we’ve compiled this handy guide to healthy Superbowl snacks, which will still tickle your tastebuds.

  • Lemon-Spiked Baked Wings – These delicious spiked chicken wings are perfect for tailgating – and since they are marinated in tangy sauce and baked (not fried), they offer a perfect low-calorie alternative to heavier snacks.
  • Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip – Simple, colorful fruit skewers will add color to your Superbowl Sunday, and are sure to be a hit with young and old, alike. Offer them up with a drizzle of honey, and their own yogurt “dip” for a fresh and nourishing snack.
  • Loaded Sweet Potato Skins – Need a sweet and savory treat? These loaded skins morph an unhealthy favorite into a feel-good Superbowl snack. Top these off with some extra veggies, or substitute goat cheese for cheddar, and you’ll sneak in an additional nutritional boost!
  • Delicious Brocc-a-mole – While we don’t expect anyone to do away with the chips and dips altogether, this delicious brocc-a-mole dip will up your health-food game. This low-calorie, guilt-free dip comes loaded with all-natural vitamin C – and offers a fun and fresh alternative to traditional dips, which tend to be loaded with unhealthy fats and additives.
  • Gourmet Popcorn – Need a salty, sweet, or savory fix, without all the extra complications? Gourmet popcorn serves up a real win! Nutritious, delicious, and low-calorie – popcorn is nature’s perfect snack food. And, with this versatile treat, your flavor options are endless!
  • Zucchini Fries – Toss the traditional potatoes – these zucchini fries will score some serious fans. And, by substituting spuds with this greener alternative, you’ll give your guests a healthy boost of manganese and vitamin C. Plus, these baked goodies go great with any of our dips – a double-win!
  • Spinach and Artichoke Dip Traditional spinach dips are full of high-fat dairy products – a real no-no for anyone trying to cut back on calories. This dip, however, gets its creamy texture from white beans – a tasty, protein-rich alternative. And, spinach greens are rich in flavenoids, calcium, and vitamin D – so this leafy dip packs a real nutritional punch.
  • Hummus with Sun-Dried Tomatoes – Store-bought hummus is great, but this delicious home-made treat is a quick, colorful, and nutrient-rich alternative – packed with riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and folate. Serve it up with slices of whole-wheat pita, veggie sticks, or those fantastic zucchini fries, and you’ve got a fresh, new favorite at the tips of your fingers!
  • Strawberry Footballs – No game day would be complete without a little something sweet… and these football-themed treats really take the cake! These simple chocolate-dipped strawberries are sure to score with guests – and satisfy even the most sensitive sweet tooth – while providing a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Make this Superbowl Sunday a real win – by feeding your friends and family the foods that support their good health!

For more information on healthy snacking, read more on the Popcorn Palace blog!

Where Fundraising Money Is Spent

26 Jan

Three years ago, Dana Perkins volunteered to join her local school’s parent teacher group, Partners in Education (PIE). She discovered that PIE had some lofty fundraising goals, but no formal fundraiser in place. In the past they had hosted an annual carnival to raise money, but they now needed to expand if they were going to meet their goals.

With no prior fundraising experience, Dana really had to learn on the fly. She searched for a fundraising program on Google and found Popcorn Palace. The idea of selling popcorn stood out among alternatives because similar local groups were selling trail mix or cookie dough, and she knew PIE could corner the popcorn market.

The Popcorn Palace fundraiser kickstarted PIE’s ability to make a bigger contribution to their school, and they have now been running a highly profitable program for the past three years. We invited Dana to share PIE’s methods so we could help other parent teach groups achieve similar success. She was happy to oblige.

To kick off the fundraiser each year, the PIE volunteers create an informational packet about the fundraiser, and the teachers distribute these packets to each student. The packets include the fundraising form and a letter to the parents that explains why the fundraiser is important and how the money will be spent. It also outlines the incentives to the students and the success of previous years.

Dana says this letter is particularly important because it sets expectations for the parents of how their contribution will benefit the school.

Each year, they have had a different goal for equipment they wanted to purchase for the school and other improvements they hoped to make. During the first year, their goal was to buy 20 iPads; in the second year, they focused on funding assemblies and field trips; and in the third year they wanted to buy a new drinking fountain for the track and field ground. They’ve been able to meet all of their goals and go beyond each year. Last year, the top individual seller sold $1,000 worth of popcorn and the top class sold $3,814!

As a result of sharing these accomplishments in their annual letter, all of the parents have deeply bought into the program. The entire community is very helpful and engaged with both buying and selling. The kids are always very excited about the popcorn, and Dana says it’s an easy sell.

At the end of the fundraiser, the school rewards the top individual seller with a packet of movie tickets and the top selling class with a pizza and ice cream party.

Dana’s advice to new sellers is this: “Keep the selling period short and include a couple of weekends, otherwise the fundraising steam will die down or people will just forget.” Everyone at PIE also loves how the new Popcorn Palace sorting feature has sped up their process. With the tally sheet, it only takes about two and a half hours for her small team of volunteers to sort the students by class and tabulate the final results.

“50% profit is the best that you will find for a fundraiser!” says Dana. With delicious popcorn, high profitability, and the ultimate convenience, it’s clear that there is simply no better fundraising program for your school. Learn more about popcorn fundraising with Popcorn Palace and get started today.

Kenwood Academy Brotherhood Fundraiser

13 Jan

When Dr. Shelby T. Wyatt of The Kenwood Academy Brotherhood set out to help his students raise funds to cover the cost of their 2014 Spring Break College Tour, the stakes were high. Airfare to Southern California alone was priced at $350 per ticket, and with 20 participating students, the Brotherhood was left struggling to cover the cost of the trip – estimated at over $750 per student.

The Spring Break College Tour is important, as it allows students who are preparing for graduation the opportunity to visit and preview colleges and universities which they might be interested in attending. Campus tours include meetings with Admissions, Financial Aid, scholarship committees, and the departments which oversee campus life and multi-cultural affairs – an incredible opportunity for students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to connect, in person.

With only four months to raise funds which would cover the significant cost of this trip, the Brotherhood decided to think outside of the box, and began to search for innovative options which might support their fundraising efforts.

“We reached out to Popcorn Palace to give it a try,” said Dr. Wyatt. And, with the help of Popcorn Palace’s fundraising team, the Kenwood Academy Brotherhood was able to achieve their goals.

“The fundraiser was a huge success. Several of the students sold more than they needed to pay for the trip, which helped the other students. One student sold more than $700 worth of popcorn!”

Kenwood Academy

With airfare costs covered, the students were able to visit participating Southern California schools, as scheduled.

When asked what his best suggestion might be, for schools considering using Popcorn Palace for fundraising purposes, Dr. Wyatt emphasized the importance of parent and participant communication. The quality of Popcorn Palace products also helps to keep everyone motivated.

“Our Popcorn Palace fundraiser more than covered the cost of airfare,” said Dr. Wyatt, “and the popcorn was so delicious that we placed a second order – not for fundraising, but because people kept asking if we had extra bags on the side!”

If you have any questions or need information about popcorn fundraising for students, contact Popcorn Palace for more information.

Tips and Tricks For Successful Fundraising

5 Jan

Popcorn Palace Gourmet Popcorn makes fundraising for your school or organization simple – but staying organized can help smooth the way for a truly successful campaign. Make sure your team is ready, by following these helpful tips and tricks!

  1. Communicate. Let your school or organization’s administrators know your plans, and clearly communicate your fundraising goals and plan, in order to gain any necessary approvals. Reaching out to the person in charge of announcements and community outreach is also a great idea – they may be able to help you spread the word to students, parents, or participants.
  2. Gather your team. Go over the information contained in Popcorn Palace’s Fundraising Kit with your team. Make sure that everyone involved understands the process, and is clear about the purpose and goals you’re working to reach.
  3. Create a timeline. You’ll want to decide the following:
  • Customer Delivery Date. When do you plan to deliver orders to customers?
  • Order Delivery Date. Allow yourself a few days after the receipt of your order to organize and distribute your Popcorn Palace Gourmet Popcorn. Remember, your team might have other commitments, scheduling in a little cushion will help keep it low stress for everyone.
  • Fundraising Dates. Outline clear dates for the beginning and end of your fundraiser, and make sure that everyone involved knows when the campaign will end. Short sales periods (under two weeks) are ideal. Also, allow a day or two of grace time, to ensure that you receive orders from every member of your team.
  1. Make a cheat sheet. List sales prices, dates, and other important information, in case your fundraising team needs a little reminder. Preparing helpful responses to frequently asked questions will help you save time, and avoid confusion.
  2. Rehearse the sales pitch. We know that Popcorn Palace products are delicious enough to sell themselves – still, providing your team with a basic sales prompt is empowering (and rehearsing it can help avoid the “deer in the headlights” experience). It will help your team feel more comfortable, and help you boost sales.
  3. Stick to the plan. Following your outlined dates will be critical to your success. It avoids confusion, eliminates lagging orders, and ensures that all of your customers are pleased with their orders.

Remember, staying organized will help ensure that your team stays on the same page – and helps your ensure your fundraiser is a success.

For more information on successful fundraising, contact Popcorn Palace. We can help your school or organization achieve its goals – contact us today, for our helpful fundraising kit!