WOW Popcorn, a prominent name in the FMCG market in Nepal, celebrated its 3rd anniversary this February. We all know WOW popcorn for its cheese flavored popcorns and many of us might have wondered how a movie theatre snack found its way into grocery shelves. The idea is the brainchild of the founder, Subhakar Manandhar.
Even though WOW Popcorn is a well-known brand among Nepali consumers today, Manandhar went through many trials and tribulations before establishing a successful venture.
The inspiration for WOW popcorn struck Manandhar when one day, his daughter made an off-hand request for cheese popcorn. He identified a gap in the market; there was nowhere he could buy cheese popcorn outside of movie theatres; and was determined to fill it. However, he received skeptical responses upon sharing his idea with the people around him. After all, popcorn feels like something people would only snack in movie theatres but not buy in packets. However, in the long run, the level of success WOW Popcorn managed to achieve proved everyone wrong.
The success of WOW popcorn did not happen overnight however, Manandhar did months of research first. He then ordered a popcorn machine from the USA and got to work. After months and months of trial and error, he finally landed on the perfect formula. Receiving positive responses from friends and family this time, he used their ‘wow’ reaction upon tasting the popcorn as inspiration for his brand name. Thus, WOW Popcorn came into existence.
Once Manandhar’s doubts were cleared, WOW opened its first two outlets at Durbarmarg and Ranjana Trade Center. The outlets proved even more successful than the packets, and soon enough, WOW Popcorn was available in both packets and at outlets. Four months later, WOW expanded to 22 outlets and is still growing rapidly today. Despite being a Nepali brand, the ingredients used to make the popcorn are all imported from abroad to ensure the best of quality.
Manandhar did not want the quality to be compromised in any way. Thus, he made sure that special care was put into every part of WOW popcorn. He put special care in the snack’s packaging. He wanted to create a product package that would reflect the snack and something that people would actually want to buy. Despite being packaged like junk food, consumers liked that it was a healthier option compared to other junk foods in the market. WOW Popcorn has only been growing ever since and is readily available all over Nepal.
Today, WOW Popcorn has expanded into WOW Snacks. Their product line has expanded to chips, cheese rings, and cookies, along with a wide assortment of popcorn flavors. You cannot visit a grocery store today without seeing WOW products displayed in racks. Somehow, WOW Snacks has established a stronghold in the Nepali snacks market and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.