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TOPIC: Popcorn

Re: Popcorn 03 Mar 2008 16:33 #27479

  • trackfood
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The popcorn at my local Sams Club IS Weaver Popcorn. Anyone know, are there different qualities, cheap, better, best corn???
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Re: Popcorn 03 Mar 2008 17:03 #27480

  • wimovieman
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My most recent shipment I paid $16.50 for 50# Weaver gold--there are definately different quality corn--Weaver gold is suppose to be one of the best--but before I started using this distributor, I was getting Vogel (they also pack Orville's label) and was very happy with the consistance, size of pop, and lack of old maids. It also was a little less per bag.

What really shocked me is coconut oil which in my case jumped from $28 to $55 a pail!

I am still eating the increases as my population base averages less than $13 an hour wages in this area. Real hard to raise prices and still see them regularly.
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Re: Popcorn 06 Mar 2008 11:59 #27481

  • wdposter
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been using coconut oil all along at $55 a pail. there is a difference in popcorn, weavers gold or (darn cant think of the name) are better and pop bigger than the Sam's Act 2 or 3 brand.
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Re: Popcorn 06 Mar 2008 14:10 #27482

  • BurneyFalls
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Gold Mine - Jolly Time popcorn: $17.63/50#
Gregg's "GNS" Soybean oil: 49.14/4 1-gallon

An interesting note:
Ten and a half years ago, the same popcorn as above sold for $19.97, while the oil was $23.96.

All the above was purchased at Cash & Carry.
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Re: Popcorn 08 Mar 2008 19:44 #27483

  • BurneyFalls
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A friend checked out Sam's in their town in No. Calif. They sell Act II popcorn for $13.18 (50#) and Act II popcorn oil for $6.88 a gallon. I am going to try it for a weekend and see what the taste difference and "popability" is.

What is the difference between Act II and Act 3?
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Re: Popcorn 09 Mar 2008 20:24 #27484

  • ttroidl
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From our supplier who distributes 'Great Western" the 50# buckets went from $49 to $79! how do you justify a $30 jump?

and corn went up only like $2 a bag.

We are stuck with 'Pop All' for the short term till we find a alternative.

OR the buckets come down to a reasonable price again!

It's that or we raise our popcorn prices with an explanation on oil and corn price hikes...

tony.
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Re: Popcorn 10 Mar 2008 06:16 #27485

  • rdetzler
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I use the Sams ACTII kernels and I like them. However, do NOT use the oil they sell as popping oil. It stinks and overheats too quickly in my popper (1942 Manley). Makes the popcorn taste lousy. I stick to a better coconut oil and get excellent results.
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Re: Popcorn 16 Mar 2008 13:05 #27486

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Tried some Act II popcorn last night. It neither tasted or popped any different than what I had been using. Wish there was a Sam's Club near me.
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Re: Popcorn 18 Mar 2008 11:54 #27487

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For those using real butter, have you noticed how much butter is lately? A case of butter was $49 at Costco last week. Think that is 12#.
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Re: Popcorn 19 Mar 2008 06:38 #27488

  • NSCInemas
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"Movie Popcorn Prices To Jump"

John Horn / Los Angeles Times
Monday, March 17, 2008

LAS VEGAS -- Global warming has had a strange effect on Hollywood, such as stars trading in their sports cars for hybrids and Al Gore hoisting an Oscar. But its latest effect might also be its corniest.

As a consequence of the booming demand for alternative fuels -- with farmers replanting acres of popcorn with more profitable crops that can be converted into ethanol and other biofuels -- the sellers of the nation's favorite movie snack say the salty tub soon will take a bigger bite out of your wallet when you're at the multiplex.

"The consumer will probably see an increase in popcorn prices pretty soon," said Carlton Smith, the chairman of Iowa's Jolly Time popcorn brand.

While the price hike probably will be modest, perhaps no more than 15 cents a serving, the rise is inevitable and necessary, according to the popcorn providers and theater owners gathered here for last week's ShoWest, the annual convention of the National Association of Theater Owners.

Movie audiences have long complained that pricey concessions -- along with chatty moviegoers, in-theater advertising and the low quality of many new releases -- have made watching movies at home often more attractive than going to theaters. While box office grosses are rising because of higher ticket prices, with 2007's take totaling $9.6 billion, annual admissions are essentially flat, hovering around 1.4 billion tickets sold each year.

But if audiences worry that movie snacks are too expensive, they need to know those $5 buckets of popcorn is what keeps the average national admission price around $7.

"If we didn't charge as much for concessions as we did, the tickets to the movies would cost $20," said Mike Campbell, chairman and chief executive of Regal Entertainment Group, the nation's largest theater chain with 6,300 screens.

Concession sales are a theater's lifeblood, accounting for as much as 45 percent of profits at the nation's largest chains. Popcorn offers one of the biggest returns on investment for exhibitors, because the unpopped kernels used to make an entire bucket of popcorn cost just a few pennies.

But the price that the mostly Midwestern farmers are charging for raw popcorn has doubled in the past two years, and the wholesale fees popcorn providers are charging theaters is starting to climb almost as fast. Fans of microwave versions might notice a markup as well.

A year ago, a theater operator buying a 35-pound bag of Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn paid $7.50. At the 2008 ShoWest convention, it has climbed to $10.17, said Mike Donahoe, a national sales manager for Minnesota's ConAgra Foods, the country's leading theater popcorn manufacturer. "And I don't see it getting any better."

Despite the country's voracious appetite for popcorn -- Americans consume 4 billion gallons annually, or about 13 gallons a person, according to the Popcorn Board -- it is hardly one of the nation's biggest crops.

Norm Krug, the chief executive of Nebraska's Preferred Popcorn, said about 240,000 American acres are planted with popcorn, while 77 million acres are planted with seed corn, which is generally a less fickle variety and consequently easier to grow.

With the demand for seed corn rising, so has its price, which in turn drives up the price of popcorn. Two years ago, a farmer charged about $10 for 100 pounds of popcorn. Today it's about $20. "The farmers are in the driver's seat, definitely," said Jolly Time's Smith.
Way to go Mike Campbell justifying the raping of the customers at the concession stand. I understand very well that theatres depend on the concession stand to make a profit but I think some of the prices a the large chains are way too high. Independants can sell popcorn for a dollar or two less and still make money. I think that the ticket price would obviously go up without selling concession but I would like to see the math behind charging $20.00 If your theatre has a 3 dollar percap then you would have to raise your ticket price by $3.00 to make the same money, so if yout ticket is 8.00 now it would be eleven dollars to make the same money. I realize that the studios take a percentage of the ticket price but you are erasing your costs of goods, cleaning costs, a large chunk of your payroll. If you dont sell food you dont have to clean theatres, so all you need is box office staff, maybe a ticket taker, and projectionist. I think the dramatic cut in overhead will even out with the studio percentages.
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Re: Popcorn 19 Mar 2008 11:52 #27489

  • rodeojack
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Our popcorn prices have gone up a little... so has coconut oil... not as much as jumps in cheese. What will really hit us this year is the cost of O'Dell's products. Superkist II jumped $10/case over our off season. THAT, plus the more modest increases in seed & popping oil might make us look at a small increase... though I can see that some theatres are using this as an excuse to raise more than they need to.
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Re: Popcorn 19 Mar 2008 14:17 #27490

  • rufusjack
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We raised our popcorn prices 50% in order to maintain our current gross margins. We left our 170 oz tub price the same. we left our soda prices the same even though we have had a 7% increase in BIBs (except Dr Pepper has gone up 25% anyone else seeing this?). Our megeplax chain competitor's popcorn prices are 58-150% higher. Our gross margin is at least 70% which I am happy with.
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Re: Popcorn 20 Mar 2008 06:23 #27491

  • NSCInemas
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I was thinking about what I wrote above and want to clarify a little. If you raised your ticket price by three dollars the studios would get a cut of that, but you save A LOT of overhead and I think that is what Campbell is missing. You have the payroll, uniforms, electricity, non-saleables, equipment repair and maintenance, overnight cleaners, cleaning supplis, extra managers etc... If you didnt sell food you would not need to clean as thoroughly as much and you wouldnt need the concession staff or ushers. I think everything else speaks for itself. If you only sell tickets you dont need as many managers (some of the 20 plexes I managed had 8+ asst. managers)

The big thing is ticket prices would not have to reach 20 dollars as Mike Campbell CEO of Regal stated because you loose a lot of your operating costs, obviously the savings would be more dramatic in a megeplex 14+ screens. The 20's that I have run would have 8+ concession staff in the main stand and 2 each in the sattellite stands on busy days, plus 6-10 usher staff. So maybe you would have to raise your ticket price a little more than what your percap is but still not enough to make ticket prices 20+ dollars. Sorry Mr. Campbell
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Re: Popcorn 20 Mar 2008 11:59 #27492

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That depends a bit on where you are in the pecking order.

A first-run house is going to average somewhere around 45% to 60% film cost, depending on how many weeks it can hold a film. Add in state & local admission taxes & that percentage goes up. Those theatres probably need the huge markups on popcorn and video games, because they only keep 25 to 30 cents on the ticket dollar.

Sub-run houses will generally average somewhat lower percentages, so the balance between concessions and tickets is a little more even. I'd bet most indies have substantially lower overhead, too.

The abundance of "assistant managers" used to be a stunt the chains used for payroll and union management. Maybe it still is, though the projectionist union is all but gone. In a union area, a "manager" could operate projectors without having to be a member. I'm not exactly sure why they still do this, but I think Regal requires that their projectionists be classified as "assistant managers".
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Re: Popcorn 24 Mar 2008 11:48 #27493

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Has anyone heard of a theater where counter concessions are not offered, but the ticket price is higher? That would be an interesting business plan.

So if a per cap is around $3 and ticket prices were $3 higher and concessions were offered in the form of vending machines only (snacks, soda, dippin' dots, etc.), it may be possible that the vending "concession" profits even out the extra studio percentage, yet you wouldn't have concession employees to pay.

The theater could have a policy of "Feel free to bring your own snacks", but as NSCinemas mentioned lower cleaning costs, I would think that cleaning costs would actually increase since you are not controlling what types of food is brought in (gum, pizza, chicken grease, etc.).
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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