Ultimate Guide to the Types of Popcorn

Popcorn is a trendy snack, especially when it comes to watching movies, whether in theaters or at home. In fact, Americans consume 17 quarts of popped popcorn yearly, with 58 quarts eaten by an average American. Popcorns can be cooked with butter or oil using a popcorn machine, a microwave oven, or they can be popped in a hot pot manually. If you like popcorn, did you know that there are many different types of it?

If you are wondering about the different types of popcorn, you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you the ultimate guide to the types of popcorn.

Different Popcorn Colors

Popcorns come in different colors, which are their natural hues even without added flavoring. Here are the different popcorn colors that you might be encountering:

Yellow Popcorn

Yellow popcorn


Yellow popcorns are those that pop up with a yellow tint. They look more buttery in appearance, and it is usually the type of popcorn used in movie theaters. This type of popcorn has a more distinctive flavor, and some describe it as slightly nutty. There are also different sizes of yellow popcorn. One size is baby yellow, which pops into a small, delicate popcorn that does not have a lot of hulls. There is also gourmet yellow, big and yellow, and extra-large caramel, which pops large popcorns. These are great for toppings, seasonings, and glazes.

White Popcorn

White Popcorn


White popcorn pops up a brilliant white. Compared to yellow popcorn, white ones are a bit smaller and have neutral, pure popcorn flavor. They are also slightly more tender than yellow ones. Sine white popcorn has a neutral flavor, it is great for adding flavors and seasonings. There are also varieties of white popcorn that you can choose from, like gourmet white, baby white, and other premium ones with excellent texture and flavor.

Red Popcorn

Red popcorn has red kernels, but they pop up white when cooked. They are a bit smaller compared to other varieties. Red popcorn offers a light, tender flake with a slightly nutty flavor. It has a neutral taste and more crunch than other kinds of popcorn.

Blue Popcorn

Blue Popcorn


Blue popcorn is almost the same as red popcorn. It has blue kernels but pops up white. It has a light, tender flake, and a unique, nutty flavor. It has a big crunch but slightly smaller in size.

Purple Popcorn

Among the colored popcorns, purple ones have the most flavor. Once popped, they will have a pale yellowish color with small purple spots. Their kernels are a bit larger compared to blue and red popcorn types.

Different Popcorn Shapes

Aside from different colors of popcorn, there are also different shapes that you can choose from. Here are some of them:

Mushroom-Shaped Popcorn

mushroom-shaped popcorn


Mushroom is a very popular shape of popcorn. It is more solid and round, like the top of a mushroom. It is big, billowy, and fluffy, which is perfect for candy coating or drizzling with chocolate, cheese, caramel, and other flavors that you like. Compared to other popcorn shapes, it is stronger and will not easily crumble when you mix in some toppings. It is the best type of popcorn you can use for making kettle corn.


If you like eating the small pieces of popcorn at the bottom of the bowl, you’ll surely love the ladyfinger type of popcorn. This type has a small size that is great for topping soups and baked goods. It is a dainty popcorn that comes in color yellow.

Butterfly-Shaped Popcorn

a box of popcorn


Butterfly-shaped popcorns are those that have irregular shapes with light, fragile wings that protrude from all sides. They are more tender, light, and fluffy compared to mushroom-shaped popcorns. For maximum crunch, they are best served fresh. This is the type of popcorn that you’ll usually see in movie theaters, carnivals, and stadiums. Since they have non-uniform shapes, they allow businesses to fill serving sizes with fewer products to maximize profits.

What is Hulless Popcorn?

There are times when you might encounter popcorn that is described as hulless. This is not actually a type of popcorn, but a characteristic of popped popcorn. All popcorn has a hull, which is the outer layer of the popcorn kernel, usually the hard, yellow bits that get stuck in teeth. Some pop with more hulls, while some with less. If you do not like picking hulls from your teeth when eating popcorn, then you can opt for a variety of popcorn that produces fewer hulls when popped.

Smaller popcorn kernels have thinner and fewer hulls. Some of the popcorn varieties that have fewer hulls are gourmet white, gourmet red, baby white, baby yellow, ladyfinger, and tender & white. But if you want a bigger popcorn and don’t mind a few hulls, you can opt for gourmet mushroom brains that are usually used for caramel popcorn.

These are the different types of popcorn that you may encounter in stores and theaters. Which of these types is your favorite, and which would you want to try soon?