ConAgra Foods has snapped up Chicago-based Lincoln Snacks, a popcorn snacks manufacturer, for an undisclosed sum.

The US food giant said Lincoln Snacks generates annual sales of around US$45m; its two flagship brands are Poppycock and Fiddle Faddle.

"This acquisition positions ConAgra Foods to further meet consumer demand for snacks," said ConAgra CEO Gary Rodkin.

ConAgra already produces a range of snacks brands, including Orville Redenbacher's and ACT II popcorn. The company is the largest microwave popcorn maker in the US.

However, the company has been caught up in the health scare surrounding popcorn in the US and last week said it would remove the flavouring chemical linked to a lung illness in popcorn plant workers.

The chemical diacetyl has been linked to a rare life-threatening disease often called popcorn lung.