MJR Theaters Respond to National Popcorn Shortage
Popcorn prices are rising in retail and wholesale markets.
Severe drought conditions in the Midwest will soon hit Americans where it hurts the most - their snack foods.
WDIV Channel 4 reported that triple digit temperatures and weeks without rain have withered soybean, grain and popcorn crops and scarcity has caused retail and wholesale prices to jump.
Mike Mihalich, owner of Brighton MJR Towne Square Theater, said he is not yet sure if the shortage will increase the cost of popcorn in MJR Theaters.
"The cost is going to go up, just like anything else," he said about popcorn. "If there's a fire in a refinery and oil becomes a little more scarce, they raise the prices. We'll have plenty of popcorn. We'll just have to pay more for it."
Mihalich said his company pays farmers a premium in advance to grow the hybrid corn the theater uses for its popcorn. He said he wasn't sure when the contracts would run out, but that he fully expects to pay more to renew them because popcorn has become a scarce commodity.
The Popcorn Board, non-profit organization funded by U.S. popcorn processors, said Americans munch 16 billion quarts of popped popcorn a year. Most of the popcorn consumed throughout the world is grown in the United States and Americans consume more popcorn than the citizens of any other country, according to The Popcorn Board.
No matter what happens, Mihalich has a guarantee for MJR customers.
"You're not going to see signs in the theater that say, 'sorry, we're out of popcorn.'"