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Popcorn Prices Headed Up… In a Jiffy


Yesterday, Matthew Weinschenk discussed how the insanely high temperatures we’ve been experiencing are affecting corn crops. As he says, “Across the Midwest, states are receiving less than half their normal rainfall.  A survey of corn crops reports that only 56% are considered in ‘good condition’ – a 20-year low.”

That, in turn, is leading to increased prices. Since June 15, corn prices have jumped 43%.

Unfortunately for moviegoers everywhere, that means that popcorn prices could be on the rise soon, too.

According to Garry Smith, President of Iowa-based JOLLY TIME Popcorn: “If [the price of corn] stays up in this area, then we have to be competitive to get a popcorn grower to grow popcorn. And so we’ll have to increase our contract price next year, and unfortunately that means there will be another consumer price increase.”

Luckily, the already unthinkably priced movie theater popcorn won’t go up too much, says Bob Goldin, Executive Vice President of food industry research firm, Technomic:

“The price is already at nose bleed levels, and I think consumers would balk at further price increases. And secondly – and probably more importantly – is that the popcorn portion of the product is a very, very low percentage. So an increase in the underlying commodity really won’t have much impact on margin for the retailer and hopefully they will absorb it.”