Garrett Harris 10:11 p.m., May 23
Let's all go to the lobby to make a down payment on a bag of popcorn
Living in a town where it rains something like 12 days out of the year has a tendency of making one overlook the necessity of an occasional sprinkle. The recent midwestern drought is forcing the issue closer to home.
Not as far as San Diegans are concerned; we already pay a hefty luxury tax in order to avoid having to consult the Weather Channel, let alone carry an umbrella. Movie fans across the country may soon have to dig even deeper into their wallets if they plan on chomping in the dark.
Reuters reports that in light of the recent drought, commodity soybean and grain prices are soaring. Retail prices have risen this summer, "from about $20 for a 50 pound bag to $30 or higher." Will this leave distributors no alternative than to pass the cost on to the consumer?
The last time I purchased a Coke and a medium bag of corn it set me back $11.50, pretty much the same cost as a ticket. A sudden spike in popcorn prices is going to hit theatres chains, who rely on concession sales, not box office receipts, for their cut of the profits, the hardest.
Bob Goldin, director of the food supplier practice at Technomic Inc. doesn't foresee a spike in prices. "The popcorn portion of the product is a very low percentage of the price," says Goldin, "and the prices are already so high, I think consumers would balk if they went up any higher."