Microwave popcorn: a review from Consumer Reports

Mmmm – you know how the yummy aroma of microwave popcorn can quickly fill up a room and make you hungry for your own bag. But not all kernels are king. So I was glad to see Consumer Reports‘ (CR) take on the popular ones out there.

CR taste panelists tried 11 microwave popcorn brands. They found most of them tasted about the same with little or no difference in flavor or texture. Only two had 0.5 grams of trans fat or more per half-bag: Market Pantry had 1.4 grams; Jolly Time had 0.5 grams. All had between 3.5 to 7.5 grams of fiber per half-bag.

Here are the microwave popcorn ratings from CR listed in order of quality: (nutritional information is based on a half-bag)


  • Orville Redenbacher’s Light Butter – Calories: 135 calories, Total Fat: 5.1g, Saturated Fat: 2.3g, Sodium: 211mg
  • ACT ll Light Butter – Calories: 136, Total Fat: 4.6g, Saturated Fat: 2.1g, Sodium: 270mg
  • Pop Secret Light Butter – Calories: 120, Total Fat: 4.5g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g, Sodium: 300mg
  • Market Pantry (Target) Butter Light – Calories: 146, Total Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: .8g, Sodium: 144mg
  • Smart Balance Light Butter – Calories: 147, Total Fat: 5.5g, Saturated Fat: 1.8, Sodium: 126mg
  • Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop Butter 94% Fat Free – Calories: 111, Total Fat: 1.9g, Saturated Fat: .6g, Sodium: 229mg
  • ACT ll 94% Fat Free Butter – Calories: 108, Total Fat: 1.8g, Saturated Fat: .5g, Sodium: 189mg
  • Pop Secret Butter 94% Fat Free – Calories: 110, Total Fat: 2.0g, Saturated Fat: .5g, Sodium: 290mg
  • Jolly Time Healthy Pop Butter 94% Fat Free – Calories: 105, Total Fat: 2.5g, Saturated Fat: .5g, Sodium: 210mg


  • Newman’s Own 94% Fat Free Butter – Calories: 156, Total Fat: 2.1g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 355mg
  • Newman’s Own Light Butter – Calories: 199, Total Fat: 6.6g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 281mg

How did your favorite rate?


  1. christine velasco November 4, 2010
  2. Jenni DiPrizo January 28, 2011
    • Kym Clark January 28, 2011
      • Anonymous October 26, 2011
  3. Julia Butt March 9, 2011