A few years ago when I first completed Whole30 and started on this allergen free lifestyle journey (you can read all about that here), I thought my snack life was going to be a lot more bland. And a whole lot less chocolaty. However, over the years, I’ve discovered some truly amazing allergen free snacks. First I shared my love for Hu Chocolate (full review here), then I did a full review on a line of alcohol removed wines (which you can read here). And I briefly mentioned how much I love Safe and Fair granola in my winter favorites post. But this post is all about the Safe and Fair popcorn. With flavors like chocolate and birthday cake, can popcorn really be decadent and delicious AND allergen free?
First a quick disclaimer. This is not “healthy” popcorn. It is still made with sugar and you still have to watch your portion control. And yes, all popcorn is inherently gluten, dairy, and soy free. (It drives me crazy when packages of things or recipes say obvious things that they aren’t or shouldn’t be. Like “Gluten free milk!” Well, I should hope so. It’s plain milk!) However, once you start adding things like butter or flavorings or chocolate, it instantly becomes hands off for anyone with food allergies. So for Safe and Fair to create a line of indulgent flavors that are meant for people with food allergies is super cool.
For this review, I bought the Dark Chocolaty drizzled popcorn, Birthday Cake drizzled popcorn, and the holiday exclusive Chocolaty Candy Cane drizzled popcorn. However, there are a few other flavors available right now like Pumpkin Pie and Sea Salt. And there are new seasonal flavors every few months. In fact, I heard there are some new flavors launching soon! Some of the past Safe + Fair popcorn flavors are Honeycrisp Apple Pie, The All American Summer, Strawberry Shortcake, Key Lime, and Blueberry Cobbler. Each bag is 7.5 oz and costs $5. Although the bags are about the size of a regular size bag of chips, they’re definitely not a one sitting snack. To be sure, each one has lasted me a couple of weeks. And so far none of them have tasted stale by the end of the bag. Which is impressive.
Not only that, but if you’re throwing a party and one 7.5 oz bag won’t be enough, you can get an 18 oz bag of the Birthday Cake flavor for $10. Of course you don’t HAVE to be throwing a party to get the big bag. You could always just get the big bag because you’re special and you deserve it. Although you can shop at the Safe + Fair website, my local HyVee grocery stores carry select varieties of the granola, popcorn, and chips in their health food section. But usually just the basics like Birthday Cake and Dark Chocolaty. For the special seasonal flavors, you’ll need to order from the website. However, it’s nice to know you can grab an emergency bag from the grocery store in a pinch.
Honestly I’m not sure what I expected this popcorn to taste like. Maybe like a kettle corn with a hint of some sort of artificial flavoring powder or something. But I was oh so wrong. This popcorn tastes like the most excellent deluxe popcorn from some boutique popcorn store in a mall or something. In fact, you’d think it was created by a chocolatier. It’s perfectly crunchy, hardly any kernels, and clumps of delicious toppings. They truly are drizzled with deliciousness. You can see the yummy-ness on each piece! Now let’s move on to little mini reviews of each flavor.
Safe and Fair Chocolaty Candy Cane Drizzled Popcorn
To be sure, I will try almost any snack that is chocolate peppermint flavor. So it’s no surprise that this flavor is the one that spurred this Safe and Fair popcorn review. Of course it’s the one I tried first too. To my surprise, this Chocolately Candy Cane flavor includes real smashed up pieces of candy cane! Plus combined with the smooth chocolate drizzle, it was love at first taste. Although the peppermint pieces do add a bit of a crunch, they aren’t sticky or distracting. And this popcorn isn’t overly sweet. It is the perfect combination of sweet and salty with a cool peppermint finish. I definitely hope they bring this one back next year.
Safe and Fair Birthday Cake Drizzled Popcorn
This one is not your mama’s fancy popcorn. The Birthday Cake flavor is the most unique of the three I tried. I love that it includes rainbow sprinkles in the drizzles because it makes it extra a fun to eat. However, it is definitely the sweetest of the three. But it’s the most “special occasion” flavor in my opinion. Which makes sense since it’s “Birthday Cake”. The drizzles are a wonderful mix of vanilla, frosting, and cake flavors paired with rainbow sprinkles. And in my opinion, rainbow sprinkles make just about anything better. I would purchase this flavor again, but I’ve found myself mixing it with the Dark Chocolately one to cut the overtly sweetness just a bit.
Safe and Fair Dark Chocolaty Drizzled Popcorn
It’s a hard decision to make, but I think this one is my favorite of the three. At first I was like eh, it’s chocolate on popcorn. Kind of basic. But I’ve really come to appreciate the balance of sweet and salty in this combo. For example, the chocolate is so silky smooth and light. Which makes it an almost delicate addition to the popcorn, instead of being completely inundating like a chocolate covered something or other. Plus like I said before, I’m a chocoholic and struggle with finding good allergen free chocolate options. I would definitely buy this flavor again. It’s perfect for a sweet and salty mid afternoon or movie night snack.
Note: Mila didn’t get any of the popcorn. But she REALLY wanted some and launched this sneak attack while I was distracted taking photos and it was too funny not to share.
Overall, I loved all three of these Safe and Fair popcorn flavors and can’t wait to try more. I would purchase all three flavors again but I find myself reaching for the chocolate one the most. But I always pour some into a small bowl so I don’t mindlessly eat the whole bag. I’m obsessed with finding what I call “GDSF” snacks (gluten, dairy, soy free) that feel both healthy and “bad”. And these popcorn varieties are all the perfect blend of salty and sweet and satisfy my sweet tooth without making me feel like I ate something I shouldn’t have. Plus, there are so few ways to get a chocolate fix when you’re allergic to dairy. And eating the same snacks all the time can get old So it’s nice to have so many options.
I love both the Safe and Fair popcorn and granola varieties and highly recommend them to anyone. I love that they constantly bring out different seasonal flavors to keep things exciting. Plus, they make amazing gifts. In fact, I bought my cousin (who is a super healthy runner and also mostly dairy free) a bag of the Chocolaty Candy Cane popcorn and a bag of the Gingerbread Granola for Christmas. These snacks are impeccably made and perfectly packaged to make impressive and thoughtful gifts. And they taste like you bought them at a fancy boutique.
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