We Tried Like Air's Puffcorn And It Might Become Your New Favorite Snack

Snacking is a near-universal experience, with each of us holding fond memories of those treats from our childhood that seemed unrivaled. Depending on when you grew up, the specifics of that snack could vary widely. For some, like us, puffed cheese popcorn balls occupy a special place, and the mere thought of having an entire barrel to ourselves was akin to striking gold.

So, imagine our excitement when an email from Like Air landed in our inbox. Here was a company making waves on "Shark Tank" also specializing in puffcorn — a snack close to our heart. The anticipation was palpable, and when the puffcorn finally arrived at our doorstep, it was a moment of truth. Reflecting on the beloved cheddar popcorn of days gone by, we can confidently say Like Air's offering stands tall. It's not just a snack; it's a delightful nod to those crave-worthy childhood favorites and a new way to enjoy puffed corn.

What is puffcorn from Like Air?

Like Air's puffcorn is a clever twist on classic buttery and flavored popcorn, made from cornmeal and fried up in a mix of sunflower and canola oils, plus a dash of seasonings for each unique flavor. The packaging doesn't shy away from boasting about the use of non-GMO ingredients and the fact that it's all put together in a nut-free facility.

The real charm of this snack lies in its eating experience. When you munch on Like Air's puffcorn, it's like biting into a crunchy cloud; the pieces are light and airy, crumbling delightfully in your mouth without leaving behind any annoying kernels or shells stuck in your teeth. It's a snack designed not just to be tasty and crunchy but also considerate, avoiding the usual popcorn pitfalls and fitting for those mindful of ingredients and allergens that make frequent appearances in other snacks.

Like Air's Shark Tank Appearance

During their appearance on "Shark Tank," Like Air co-founders Allison Lin and Steve Atieh, alongside CFO and brother Kevin Atieh, emphasized the universal appeal of their snack. They highlighted its suitability for consumers of all ages and were quick to point out its natural flavoring and gluten-free credentials.

Despite the company's considerable success before stepping onto the "Shark Tank" stage, there was speculation from the Sharks, particularly from Mark Cuban, about whether the team was there purely for publicity, given their already impressive growth trajectory. Kevin O'Leary, known as Mr. Wonderful, praised the product, declaring it "probably the best low-cal snack we've seen on 'Shark Tank' in 15 years." Ultimately, the Like Air team struck a deal with Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban, securing $300,000 in exchange for a 10% stake in the company, even amidst initial concerns over their intentions to participate in the show.

Where to find Like Air's puffcorn

Like Air's puffcorn can be found across a variety of nationwide grocery chains, though availability may vary. The company says that it offers a wide range of stores. Still, nearby us, for example, the availability was actually quite limited, with Costco being the only store with the product available, and even its location was sold out.

For those who don't have access to a nearby store carrying the product like us, the company's website offers an alternative through nationwide shipping. This online option allows the convenience of choosing exactly what suits your taste or needs. Whether you're after a full-size variety pack to sample all the flavors, boxes dedicated to your favorite flavor or even bulk purchases of single-serving bags perfect for tucking into children's lunch bags, the website has you covered. The online ordering process is easily streamlined, making it a hassle-free way to ensure you have this snack on hand for school lunches or snacking.

How much does Like Air's puffcorn cost?

Purchasing Like Air's puffcorn directly from a grocery store will set you back $3.99 per bag, positioning it at a higher price point than some other popcorn brands. For instance, Chester's cheesy puffed popcorn, which offers a similar quantity, typically sells for around $3. This price difference reflects Like Air's premium positioning, likely due to its non-GMO ingredients and unique qualities.

For those opting to buy online, the pricing structure changes. A four-pack of the puffcorn is priced at $24.99, which is the same price charged for a 20-pack of the smaller, single-serve bags. This pricing strategy offers more value to those looking to stock up or sample a variety of flavors.

In light of the company's exposure and success on "Shark Tank," Like Air has initiated a promotional offer, providing a 20% discount on these online purchases. This reduces the cost of both the four-pack and the 20-pack of single-serve bags to $19.99, making it a more attractive deal for fans of the snack and new customers alike, eager to try the Shark-approved snack.

Original flavor puffcorn taste test

If you're a fan of classic puffed corn like us, Like Air's original flavor puffcorn is likely to hit the mark, delivering that texture and taste with a twist. The flavor hints at traditional buttered popcorn but carries a lighter quality with a crunchy bite.

It's a solid choice for enthusiasts of puffed corn snacks, though this offering might not sway those indifferent to puffcorn or its distinct crunchy texture. The flavor profile is notably mild, yet the crunchiness is satisfyingly snackable. While it doesn't venture far into bold or extraordinary flavors, it is a reliable treat. The catch with this puffcorn, especially the single-serving size, is its irresistible nature — once you start snacking, stopping might be harder than anticipated. Despite its subtle flavor, the snack's convenience and addictive crunch make it easy to polish off a bag in one sitting, making it a delightful, ultra-easy-to-enjoy option.

Pancake flavor puffcorn taste test

Upon diving into our box of snacks from Like Air, the pancake-flavored puffcorn was the first we reached for. The novelty of a pancake flavor in a snack form was too intriguing to pass up. Right after opening the bag, the aroma of maple syrup wafted out, setting high expectations for a sugary taste sensation. Contrary to our initial guess, the puffcorn tasted surprisingly mild. The aroma did the heavy lifting in crafting the flavor illusion, with the actual taste being subtly sweet rather than overwhelmingly sugary.

While delicious, we found ourselves wishing for a bit more flavor intensity, something to match the boldness the scent hinted at. Nonetheless, the attempt at such a unique flavor is commendable. Pancake-inspired treats aren't commonplace, making this a standout choice for its creativity alone. It's a tasty snack, for sure, but those expecting a flavor explosion may find it a tad understated.

Cinnamon bun puffcorn taste test

The cinnamon bun flavor from Like Air stands out as one of the more robustly seasoned options in the lineup, particularly noted for being dairy-free, as is the pancake flavor. The cinnamon, a key ingredient, takes center stage in this flavor profile, offering a bold and immediate taste that captures the essence of a cinnamon bun. Visually, these puffcorns differentiate themselves from others with a unique coloration; the cinnamon sprinkled generously over each piece adds a distinct and appealing look, setting them apart from the other flavors available.

Contrary to the pancake flavor, which had a pronounced aroma yet a milder taste, the cinnamon bun variety flips this dynamic. The scent might be subtle, almost unnoticeable, but the flavor packs a significant punch. The cinnamon bun flavor is definitely our favorite between the two sweeter options Like Air offers. Its ability to deliver a potent, enjoyable taste without relying on dairy ingredients makes it a standout choice.

White cheddar puffcorn taste test

For enthusiasts of puffed popcorn snacks, Pirate's Booty is likely a familiar name, celebrated for its light, cheddar-coated popcorn that's a hit among families, particularly those with young kids. Like Air's white cheddar puffcorn brings a similar vibe to the table but stands out with its slightly more uniform piece sizes and an airier texture. This version holds true to the essence of cheddar snacks, complete with the cheesy residue that inevitably ends up on your fingers. Yet, this isn't much of a downside—the flavor is enjoyable enough that cleaning your fingers becomes part of the snack experience.

However, for those looking to bypass the cheesy aftermath altogether, there's an alternative worth exploring. Snactiv, another product celebrated on Shark Tank, is a perfect companion for enjoying powdered or coated snacks without mess; it's one of our favorite Shark Tank kitchen gadgets ever and is the perfect way to keep your snacking fingers cleaner.

Like Air's puffcorn vs. Popcorn

When you stack Like Air's puffcorn up against traditional, bagged popcorn, the standout difference is all in the texture. Puffcorn doesn't just tweak the popcorn experience; it flips it on its head, offering a crunchy and airy bite instead of the familiar kernel-based crunch. Notably, puffcorn sidesteps the issue of hulls and kernels. Like Air pitches this as a big win for safety, making their snack a viable option for the littlest ones in the family, as young as six months, a stark contrast to popcorn, which carries a choking hazard label for children under five.

This move to include a safer snack option does wonders for family snack time. It lets even the tiniest hands join in, mimicking their parents without the worry. That being said, the reception to puffcorn's texture isn't universal. While some of us reveled in its quick-dissolving crunch, not everyone was as taken. It's a different vibe from traditional popcorn, where the expectation is a chewier, longer-lasting munch.

So, here's the bottom line: If puffcorn's unique texture is something you've enjoyed in the past, then Like Air's take is likely to be a hit in your snack rotation. On the flip side, if puffcorn has never quite hit the mark for you, Like Air's version might not sway your taste buds or texture sensibilities.

Is Like Air's puffcorn worth it?

Admittedly, we sample a lot of new food; some of it is great, some is not so great, and some of it is straight-up forgettable. With whatever we have left, we often donate to family and friends, but that won't be happening here, and Like Air may be joining our regular rotation of bagged snack foods. With a generous shipment of Like Air's puffcorn on hand, it's clear we're set for snacks for a while. So, to the question of whether Like Air's puffcorn is worth it, our response leans heavily towards a yes. This endorsement comes with a caveat: You've got to be a fan of crunchy snacks and the kind of person who finds the idea of polishing off a whole bag in one sitting more appealing than alarming.

Our track record with these snacks tells its own story; not once have we managed to keep an opened bag around for longer than a day. This testament to their snackability suggests that if your snack habits align with ours — favoring crunch and not shy about quantity — then Like Air's puffcorn is likely to be a hit in your household too. Plus, there are plenty of ways you can use this bagged snack to make snacks, as much as you can with popcorn.