Lansing-based Cravings Gourmet Popcorn opened for business during the fall of 2007 at the Lansing City Market. The innovative company invested in social media to help bolster the business and create a buzz around their brand. They also became involved with several local networking initiatives, like co-sponsoring a Grand River Connection event with Biggby Coffee and giving away lots of caramel popcorn.
"Our sales growth from 2008 to 2009 was nearly 25%," says owner, Chad Jordan. "Much of our growth can be attributed to social networking and good old fashioned face-to-face networking."
Cravings also enlisted the assistance of the MSU Public Relations Student Society of America, putting together a focus group to develop new ideas and initiatives for 2010. From that focus group, Cravings debuted Sweet Chili Cheddar popcorn as a test flavor and also came up with the idea of MSU campus popcorn delivery.
"Social media [and local networking] has opened doors and put us in front of business leaders and a creative community," Jordan says. "We are a Lansing business, I was born in Lansing and I really want to be a Lansing attraction-icon someday. "
Although Cravings has moved into the New Lansing City Market location, Jordan has bigger goals. "My goal is to be in a storefront within two years and possibly keep the city market location."
Source: Chad Jordan, Cravings Gourmet Popcorn
Writer: Suban Nur Cooley