January can be a gloomy time of year - but do not despair, the solution is simple. All you need to keep spirits high in your household this January is... watch a film with a tub of popcorn! Yes, the light and bouncy kernel-born corn has never been more popular – with many on-trend bars and restaurants now serving it as a sweet side treat. This year, World Popcorn Day is taking place on 19th January, offering a perfect opportunity for you and your family to combat winter blues with an enthusiastic pop and big burst of flavour. Plus, you can munch away safe in the knowledge that you will not be breaking any health-conscious New Year resolutions, as popcorn is known to be one of the healthiest snacks around.

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Since its discovery, consumers worldwide have found the act of popping corn both fascinating and wildly entertaining - underpinning the reason as to why it remains an ever-popular snack to eat in the cinema. Conversely, back in the early 20th century, movie theatres didn't want anything to do with popcorn as they were attempting to duplicate what was going on in classic theatres around the world – a world of elegant entertainment, beautiful interiors and high end clientele. Popcorn crushed from carpet to ceiling did not fit the desired look and feel, and so humble popped corn became perhaps the ultimate clandestine cinema snack.

Until, that is, pictures with sound were introduced into movie theatres everywhere; liberating movie-enthusiasts who were previously held back by a lack of literacy skills and the inability to follow subtitles. The arrival of sound fast forwarded the cinema revolution and made movie-going an inclusive experience and, by 1930, in the era of The Great Depression, attendance to movie theatres had climbed to 90 million per week. Soon, picture house bosses came to realise that they could not ignore the facts (and the masses) any longer: popcorn was the concession of choice and they needed to provide it. Effortless to transport and cheap to produce and market, it became clear that the addition of popcorn would prove to be a winning combination.

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Today, we know this to be true and look forward to grabbing a box or bag of the iconic snack to take along to the movies. And, thanks to the pop-at-home varieties that are now available from almost every supermarket and store, there is no better way to celebrate the kernel-born corn than partaking in a popcorn party of your own! So, as the nights draw in and a frostbitten chill sweeps the UK, there is no need to step outside… Why not try matching popcorn flavours to your game or DVD genre of choice, with our online movie category.

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Here are a few examples to get you started:

Smoke and Spice

Suited to an intriguing thriller or noir classic, a smoky and spicy flavour combination will offer a soft and slow burn with a build up to the bite. Why not try adding a hit of smoky paprika to your popcorn or attempt a recipe like spicy maple with dry-roasted cashews.

Diverse and Unique

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An unusual popcorn combination will suit an independent or unfamiliar activity. It may be a vintage classic that the kids will not recognise, or a foreign film from lands afar. The more unusual the genre; the more experimental the ingredients! Try a combination like parsley, parmesan and Maldon salt or garlic, parmesan and cayenne if you are feeling adventurous.

Warm and Sweet

Warm and sweet popcorn toppings partner perfectly with all things romantic and sensual - so if the kids are away and you find yourself yearning for a cosy night in, or a pre-Valentine's date night, why not try layering your popcorn with a warm vanilla drizzle and a sprinkling of cinnamon (or dusting of dark cacao) for a sweet treat.

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Light and Bright

A light and bright combination is the perfect fit for a sing-a-long musical, romantic comedy or laugh-out-loud family fun and games. For subtle indulgence, try a sweep of coconut oil and salt or a little lemon with a dash of sugar.

Child Friendly

A light dusting of edible glitter from our cake accessories category may just be the thing to compliment a child's popcorn portion and will match up with all art and craft activities perfectly! For a universal crowd-pleaser, add a little chocolate to satisfy cravings – but remember, you can always make it healthy using a chocolate substitute if you're concerned about sugar intake!

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