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WOW Popcorn - Go WOW All The Way!*

ET Cases, 14 pages
AUTHOR(S) : Dr. Ragini Mohanty (Head of Department, Healthcare, Welingkar Institute of Management), Richa Shah(Assistant Professor, Healthcare, Welingkar Institute of Management), Devanti Jaiswal(Student, PGDM, Healthcare, Welingkar Institute of Management)

Case Preview

WOW Popcorn – Go WOW All The Way!


A movie theatre, a vending machine, aroma of butter, the sound of popping, and tubs of the favorite sizzling popping snack – the universal popcorn…feels like “Yes, I have experienced it. But, can I have more choice in flavor? Can it be of international quality? Can it be healthy?...” Yeh Dil Maange More... these are just a few amongst the many questions that have been making rounds in the mind of this young, Gen Y woman entrepreneur – who can be called The Queen of Popcorn.

When you think of WOW think popcorn... When you think of Popcorn think “WOW”!

Ms. Neha Goyal, a management graduate and entrepreneur, fond of eating popcorn, yet not contented with the variety and good place where one could find it. She used to eat either at theatres or the microwave popped ones and this fact, according to her, was not doing justice to the product. Amidst this contemplation, a trip to the United States of America changed her perception.


She came across an assortment of popcorns which looked and tasted so very different from what she had eaten until now. Subsequently, she desired to bring it back home to India, and provide the experience of international taste and variety through her revolutionary idea of chain of stores serving fresh, healthy, and hygienically prepared popcorn. One thing was sure, that the business model would definitely not be a pedestal popper, but rather a scientific model, supported by the appropriate technology and culinary expertise.....................

About The Promoter Ms. Neha Goyal

WOW Food Brands Private Limited is a sole proprietorship company started in the year 2013. The promoter, 28-year-old Neha Goyal, is a very humble, gentle, soft-spoken young woman from Mumbai, who believes that “Growth is when you take risks and that too calculated risks. In any business one has to take risk otherwise it could not be materialised. A lot of people take the safer route but the growth is limited then. So, why be among the normal candidates and why not be the exceptions.”............

Family Background

She has an immensely supportive family. Her father, trained as an electronic engineer, started off with a regular job and worked with different companies for about 7-8 years. Later, in 1992, he decided to start something of his own and began with the team of four people. The family business is a specialization into distribution of electronic products, with a humble beginning of selling pain dispensers and spectrophotometers..................

Market Reality

Neha began her entrepreneurial journey with environment scanning, market assessment and a SWOT assessment. Training in management helped Neha to design and execute a consumer market research study over a 4-6 month period. The research included quantitative and qualitative methods using the tools of traditional consumer surveys both offline and online approach, with concurrent physical field observations and interviews, as well as use of modern technology i.e., digital media..............

Decision Making

Despite the above estimates India experience was different as research resulted in the form of mixed reactions with a wide range of consumer insights and perceptions. People had never seen a popcorn store before, and were not aware yet not receptive to the idea of healthy popcorn served fresh as an over-the-counter snack, and hence were very skeptical about its inception. With this marketperception, Neha began with her business model research from May 2012 and it took almost a year to get the set with the latest international technology, right material and recipe in place...................

Main Issues and Decision making

a. Concern of Return on Investments

This kind of business model requires a moderately long gestation period. One has to withstand the first twenty to twenty five months, by belief in the concept, the product.........

b. Consumer Perception

Furthermore, mainly due to newness of this particular concept, people took a lot of time to accustom themselves with the thought of a popcorn store in their locality...........


Business Strategy

WOW Popcorn is a pure vegetarian product. The modern WOW popcorn business model is the unique amalgamation of youthful zest, global business practices, latest technology and innovation, and international flavours. Best practices in raw material procurement, manufacturing and information technology, culinary skills and indigenous flavours, best of customer services and retail concepts differentiate them. The regulatory compliance is through the appropriate applicable laws and FSSAI license that is mandatory to run such kind of store............

Way Forward

In the business model like this, staying ahead of competitors is of utmost importance to retain market leadership. The competitors to Neha can be categorized as the local street vendor selling sand roasted popcorn for maybe INR10 per 50 gm serving or so, it can be other branded gourmet popcorn manufacturers, unpopped unflavored or flavoured Indian and the microwave variety available in an international packaged popcorn pack at the retail store............


Exhibit I: Indian Popcorn Market

Exhibit II: Popcorn Market Consumption Pattern


Exhibit IV: Comparison of Air Popped Popcorn vs Oil Popped and Microwave Popped Popcorn

Exhibit V: Popcorn Flavors

Exhibit VI: Store Locations

Exhibit VII: Produce Pack Size and Pricelist

Exhibit VIII: SWOT Analysis

Teaching Note Preview

WOW Popcorn – Go WOW All The Way!



Popcorn is typically associated with movie halls and microwaves, it is ‘The Perfect Snack’ - hot, fresh, in multiple flavors, relatively healthier than all the deep-friend junk food out there, and as with the best things in life, tastefully addictive. This case study explores the journey of a woman entrepreneur in gourmet food popcorn category business. The model includes multiple retail outlets serving gourmet popcorn experiences to all. The brand’s USP: large, quality kernels sourced from across the world and a small-batch process that makes sure no matter when you enter the store, you’re getting a fresh lot. Though currently associated with only the movie culture, positioning of this small poor man’s staple food is witnessing a paradigm shift in urban and rural areas. This case study helps better understanding of this new innovative venture, customer & market segmentation & business strategy to the making of WOW Popcorn a top of the mind brand in gourmet popcorn category.........

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Product code: MKTG-1-0046, MKTG-1-0046A


Popcorn is typically associated with movie theatres. 'The Perfect Snack' - hot, fresh, in multiple flavors, relatively healthier than all the deep-friend junk food out there, and as with the best things in life, tastefully addictive.

Who could imagine having Popcorn Stores!

Neha Goyal (Neha), Founder of 'Wow Popcorn', identified this gap in the market and came up with a chain of popcorn stores. She believes that gourmet popcorn' experiences are definitely in. The brand's USP: large, quality kernels sourced from across the world and a small-batch process that makes sure no matter when one enters the store, one gets a fresh lot. It is a one of its kind stores. The flavors, WOW currently offers, score high on the cards for taste, freshness, aroma, texture and quality.

Neha dream to break the old age theory that popcorn is only associated with movies. Neha plans to expand to different segments of the market from bars to weddings, as snacks.

With the world changing to more and more innovative, this case study will help to understand the changing eating habits and penetration of newer food products in the market.

Pedagogical Objective

The case study will help to understand about the business plan of a new innovative entrepreneurial venture, its customers, market segmentation and Strategy and the journey to the making of WOW Popcorn.

Case Positioning and Setting

  • PG courses
  • First year courses
    • Marketing Management - PESTEL, SWOT Analysis, STPD, marketing mix
    • Consumer Behavior - Consumer Insights, Perception
    • Market Research - Methods
  • Second year courses
    • Entrepreneurship - traits, process of entrepreneurship, business feasibility, types of business
    • ownership, etc.
    • Innovative Thinking
    • Retail Management - Operations Management i.e., location & layout, Systems driven
    • operations, Customer delight, Value added services.
  • UG courses
    • Marketing Management - PESTEL, SWOT Analysis, STPD, marketing mix
    • Entrepreneurship - Traits, Process of Entrepreneurship, business feasibility, types of business
      ownership, etc.

    * GSMC 2014, IIM Raipur

    This Case Pack Includes:
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    - Case Study
    - Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)

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