Popcorn Supply ‘Will Be Tight’ at Theaters This Summer, Producers Warn

  • Movie theaters are still making up for losses after the pandemic paused movie-going for two years.
  • This summer’s blockbusters, like “Jurassic World: Dominion,” are expected to bring back crowds.
  • There’s just one potential problem: The popcorn supply, or lack thereof.

When millions of Americans flock to movie theaters to see “Jurassic World: Dominion” or one of several other blockbuster films expected to draw big crowds this summer, they may find disappointment at the concession stand.

Those pillowy golden puffs of classic movie-theater popcorn, covered in fake butter and all-too-real salt, could be in short supply.

“Popcorn supply will be tight,” Preferred Popcorn chief executive Norm Krug told the Wall Street Journal.

And it’s not just popcorn itself that might prove hard to find: Those grease-proof paper bags are already in short supply.

Some chains are turning to reusable metal or plastic vessels instead, Goldenlink North America sales director Neely Schiefelbein told the Wall Street Journal — despite the lack of advertisement and higher expense.

Some chains are turning to metal or plastic containers, which are more expensive, Goldenlink North America sales director Neely Schiefelbein told the Wall Street Journal.

“At the end of the day, they have to have something to put popcorn in,” Schiefelbein said. Goldenlink specializes in “film-related concessions and promotions” and is a major supplier of concession-stand goods like popcorn bags.

The bigger problem at the foundation of this issue, Krug told the Journal, is convincing farmers to create enough corn rather than switching to or sticking with a different, potentially more lucrative crop like soybeans.

Those supply issues are compounded by an ongoing national trucker shortage, which continues to cause shipment delays across US consumer-goods supply chains. 

Notably, this potential popcorn problem is coming at a time when more Americans than ever are finally feeling confident enough to return to the theater after over two years of restraint. A Morning Consult survey of 2,200 US adults showed that more than half are comfortable with going to the movies.

The recent success of the long-awaited “Top Gun” sequel serves as yet another indicator that more Americans are ready to head back to the cinema. Whether there will be enough popcorn for everyone remains to be seen.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email ([email protected]), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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