Jolly Time Pop Corn Celebrates 100 Years

JOLLY TIME Pop Corn turns 100 this October and is celebrating its birthday with fun initiatives, including a grassroots community awards program called Kernels of Kindness.

JOLLY TIME was founded by Cloid Smith in Sioux City, Iowa in 1914. Smith and his son, Howard, hand-shelled the popcorn themselves in the basement of their home.  An entrepreneur at heart, Cloid Smith pioneered the U.S. popcorn industry, personally selling his product to small grocers and street cart popcorn vendors. As the Smith family grew, so did the legacy of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn.

Over time, the line of products has evolved to thrive in an ever-changing snack food market. The 1950s brought both entertainment and popcorn out of the movie theater and into the home. In the 1980s, popping popcorn became even more convenient with the advent of microwave popcorn. And by the early 2000s, customer influence resulted in the creation of new popcorn varieties in line with more health-conscious snacking. JOLLY TIME Pop Corn has popped alongside families through all of it.

“Our greatest joy and constant motivation is bringing families and friends together,” said Garry Smith, president, and fourth generation member of the Smith family to lead JOLLY TIME Pop Corn. “We’re honored to have shared quality time with loved ones over a century—game nights, movies, parties, sporting events, and of course, popcorn.”

Today, JOLLY TIME remains a family owned business and has sold nearly three billion pounds of popcorn. JOLLY TIME offers its American-grown products in grocery stores nationwide and in nearly 40 countries around the globe. JOLLY TIME Pop Corn is gluten-free and is made using non-GMO popcorn. The company’s products have carried the Good Housekeeping Seal since 1925. From classic flavors—such as Blast O’ Butter, Crispy ’N White, Healthy Pop and KettleMania—to more contemporary spins such as Mallow Magic and Jalapeno Butter, as well as innovative partnerships with Weight Watchers and Smart Balance, JOLLY TIME embraces an entrepreneurial spirit while remaining true to its deep roots.

On May 15, JOLLY TIME began celebrating its birthday by launching the Kernels of Kindness campaign, a national grass roots program awarding $1,000 to 100 people and organizations around the country that bring joy and happiness to others by doing good in their communities. Nominations can be made online at until June 15. JOLLY TIME judges will determine the 100 winners, and their stories will be shared via the JOLLY TIME website and on social media. Everyone who submits a nomination will receive a coupon for a 3 or 4 count pack of JOLLY TIME Microwave Pop Corn. Additional rules and giveaway details can be found at

“I know my great-grandfather, grandfather and father would all be proud that we are still a family-owned company,” said Smith. “But beyond that, they’d be proud of JOLLY TIME’s continued commitment to our community. In celebration of our 100th year, we wanted to extend that commitment to communities across the U.S. We’re very excited to see what $100,000 of good will bring.”

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