Have you ever wondered what’s in your popcorn? Well in the student center at the Night Owl Café (NOC), the popcorn now contains canola oil.
Before this, the NOC popcorn had used Phase Oil. The team members at the NOC noticed that the oil was making the popcorn machine hard to clean. Coordinator of Student Activities and Organizations Britany Gallagher said, “We were finding that it was really difficult to keep the popcorn machine clean and it’s really thick, dense and heavy and it leaves a really oily gross, almost wet sometimes texture on the popcorn.”
People would mistake the oil as butter when it would be left out next to the machine, and, at times, would put more on their popcorn. The popcorn also did not have the crunchy texture with it before, but now, with the canola oil, it’s much better to keep the popcorn machine working well and healthier for people,” explained Gallagher.
There has been positive feedback about this change from the workers, students and other people who stop by.
While figuring out the change, Gallagher said she wanted to help her team members. One of the beneficial parts of this change was the way it helped out the cleaning process for the team members at the NOC. Team member Hannah Melanson said, “When we clean the machine every night at closing, you still clean the machine the same way, but before with the old oil we previously used, it was more work for us because you had to scrub extra when cleaning, but now since we made the switch to the new oil, it takes less time to clean it because there’s less scrubbing to do.”
With this oil change, there also has been an addition to the way someone can flavor the popcorn. Last semester, some of the team members in the NOC had considered flavor toppings for the popcorn. Gallagher had asked the staff to pick their top five flavors out of twenty options. She then picked the ones that are out right now- ranch, bacon and cheese, sour cream, chives and white cheddar.
There has been a mix of reactions from this. “Some say they hate it and some say they love it,” Melanson said.
KSC student Ian Stewart said he gets popcorn every day with a sizzler and said, “I’m not a big fan of the flavors they have.”
Melanson said it’s more work for her now with the flavors. “Before, we used to just scoop up the popcorn and hand it out, but now after you scoop the popcorn, you need to add the flavor to the bag before you give it to the person,” Melanson said.
The flavor that has been most popular is the white cheddar. “We went out of white cheddar super fast and we already have had to reorder some of it,” Gallagher said.
From these changes at the NOC, some team members can say it has made their job a lot easier when it comes to cleaning. However, regarding the new toppings, the NOC’s consumers either love the flavors or hate them.
Adriana Sanchez can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org