There’s good news and then there’s bad news. The good news is that movie goers shouldn’t be worried about the popcorn drought affecting concession stand prices. The bad news is that people are already paying so much money for popcorn at the movies that it’s pretty much impossible for the price to go any higher.
Bob Goldin, Executive Vice President of Technomic told Reuters:
“The price is already at nosebleed levels, and I think consumers would balk at further price increases.”
Goldin also notes that the actual popcorn accounts for a very low percentage of the cost for movie theaters.
“Secondly, and probably more importantly, is that the popcorn portion of the product is a very, very low percentage. So for a dollar bag of popcorn, which we never see, the popcorn portion alone is 5, or 6, or 7 cents. So an increase in the underlying commodity really won’t have much impact on margin for the retailer, and hopefully they will absorb it.”
Movie theaters may be able to absorb the price of a popcorn drought but farmers are having a hard time across the Midwest as they watch their crops shrivel up in the unprecedented heat.
Mark Shew, whose family has been in the popcorn business for three generations, said:
“This is the worst season we’ve ever had… In some places, they’re going to be down to counting kernels at the bottom of the storage bins.”
According to Reuters, a 50 pound bag that used to cost $20 is now being sold for $30 or more. That will hit the pockets or retail stores but don’t worry about the concession stand business.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, movie theaters make approximately $3000 off of $30 of raw popcorn.