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Raw Popcorn Prices Up, But Will It Cost More At The Movies?

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –Movie lovers, listen up. Next time you sit down to watch a flick, that tub of popcorn could be pricey.

“We usually buy popcorn in our 50 pound bags, and right now it’s up about $6 from what it was just a week ago,” said Tom Greengard, of Peterson Popcorn.

Prices for raw kernels are up 20-30 percent, in some cases.

Popcorn suppliers like St. Croix Valley Popcorn say it comes down to three problems.Farmers aren’t planting as much popcorn crop, worldwide demand from places like China is up and one of the biggest popcorn supplying states, Indiana, is in a massive drought.

“You’re really not allowed to get much more than you got last year, or maybe a little bit less, because the yield is so bad,” said Clay Duncan, of St. Croix Valley.

Duncan supplies stores like Peterson Popcorn and stocks concessions at Midway Stadium. He doesn’t think those retailers will have to increase prices.

“I think you’re going to see the biggest impact on microwave popcorn and bulk seed popcorn at grocery stores,” he said.

That’s true in Tom Greengard’s case, who plans to keep his prices the same, even though his costs are on the rise.

“If we start jumping prices or changing things that will scare our customers,” Greengard said. “So we’ll have to take the hit for a little while to see where things come out.”

Suppliers say they think movie theaters will also keep prices about the same, because the popcorn portion of those buttery tubs usually makes up a small part of the price.

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