The Preferred Story

Preferred Popcorn was the dream of Norm Krug

Preferred Popcorn was the dream of Norm Krug, a Nebraska popcorn grower previously troubled when his quality popcorn would be mixed in with large loads of average harvests and then disappear into the general marketplace. Norm built his own company in 1997, turning to three other farmers to join him in buying a dormant processing plant. Preferred Popcorn is 100 percent farmer-owned. That means Norm is able to guarantee that only the best popcorn goes to his customers. Those top growers in Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota and Indiana are paid bonuses for meeting the quality standards that Norm expects so that Preferred can live up to its motto, "Picked to be the best!" Preferred is growing more than popcorn. They are growing a business that now represents more than 1,000 farm families with customers in 40 countries. The Kentucky Proud connection is just beginning. A Murray, Ky., family sold their popcorn operation to Norm and he built on the great farm connections with western Kentucky growers.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture outlined a comprehensive plan to select all of this top-quality Kentucky popcorn and market it directly from these Kentucky Proud farm families to the homes, retail stores and ballparks of customers close to home. When you see the 100 percent Kentucky Proud Popcorn logo on Preferred Popcorn's microwave boxes, you are guaranteed that it is 100 percent direct from these western Kentucky farm families. Kroger, the largest grocery retailer in Kentucky and one of the nation's largest, became an immediate and enthusiastic part of this teamwork, wanting to tell the farm story and offer these new microwave popcorn products in all 98 Kentucky stores. Because of these Kentucky Proud connections, Norm is doubling quality bonuses paid to his Kentucky growers and expects acreage and payments to our farm families to far exceed the $2.9 million paid to them in 2013.