About us

Our passion for the land and thirst for innovation have been going on for over 25 years and have made Nataïs a specialist on the global popcorn market

Shared values

Nataïs has been built around simple values from the very beginning. We cherish the Land and its people and this reality reflects itself in our everyday business routine.

Our values

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TO OUR CUSTOMERS

Nataïs has been built around simple values from the very beginning. We cherish the Land and its people and this reality reflects itself in our everyday business routine.

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WITH OUR 130 EMPLOYEES

We lay importance on mutual commitments and chose to develop a accompanying program for each and every one of our employees. The training programs we implement favor a new kind of know-how improvement approach between Nataïs and its employees.

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WITH OUR FARMING PARTNERS

We have been cultivating a trustful relationship along the years. Thanks to our short chain dynamic, we manage to develop a unique know-how necessary to produce the best quality popping corn. Soil and ecosystem conservation, reduction of pesticides and better water management show our shared commitment to promote sustainable farming.

 

Corny facts

Does the popping shape of a kernel depend on its growing method ?

No not at all, it depends on the seed variety. Some varieties pop into a butterfly shape – meaning in all possible directions. The butterfly shape is ideal for powdered seasoning because the contact surface is larger. Other varieties pop into a mushroom shape and are generally used with liquid coatings.

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Story of a popcorn pionner

Nataïs’s story is a story of my passion for the land. I grew up in a farmers’ family in Germany and my parents are the ones who made me want to respectfully work the land, discover and try out new things. When I was 24, I went to visit my in-laws in the US and I met this popcorn farmer who shared that same passion. At that moment, the idea of growing popcorn on the family farm in France struck me. My parents had just invested in 240 hectares of fields in the South West France.

So I brought back 2kg of popcorn seeds over the ocean in my suitcase. Of course at that time I would have never imagined becoming the first european popcorn producer ! In the following years we experimented a lot of varieties and all kinds of techniques to finally end up with a satisfying outcome specifically tailored to our soil and climate conditions.

When the time to sell our first crops came along, I started looking for markets to sell this european-grown popcorn. I must say, it was tricky ! Everyone  was suspicious of a french grown popping corn. Thankfully, I was able to understand the specifics of the industry by visiting many plants and customers. These encounters motivated me to constantly be on the lookout for potential process improvements. In 2006, I was lucky enough to meet Jérôme Réthoré – our current General Manager- he was able to share his precious expertise in structuring the whole company and more particularly our industrial process. During all those years I genuinely enjoyed building up a network in the popcorn industry – especially with the farmers who trusted me and built it from the ground up. I believe I was able to pass down my passion for popcorn to the farmers and the Nataïs team.

These trustful and long term relationships between employees, producers, customers and suppliers are responsible for what Nataïs stands for today.

our story

Corny facts

Why don’t all corn kernels pop ?

Popcorn differs from other types of maize/corn in that it has a thicker pericarp (hull). The pericarp allows pressure from the heated water to build and eventually bursts open. The inside starch becomes gelatinous while being heated; when the pericap bursts, the gelatinized starch spills out and cools, giving it its familiar popcorn shape.

key facts

We export to more than 40 countries

International sales account for 90% of our turnover

Our business produces 35% of the European popcorn

European leader

in popcorn

160 million

bags produced every year

41 million

turnover

130 employees

200 farming partners

Corny facts

History of popcorn

Popcorn was part of Aztec Indians everyday lives, through their diets as well as their rituals. In the early 16th century, Aztec women used it during ceremonies and dansed the “popcorn dance” with popcorn garlands in their hair.