white and red plastic packs

Many movie theaters have been closed for months—and the popcorn is piling up.

People have been eating plenty of the microwavable version of the snack while stuck at home during the pandemic, but theater popcorn comes from different suppliers. Those farmers now have a huge surplus on their hands, enough to fill about 80 million popcorn tubs.

The kernels have only about a year before they’ll dry out, so Preferred Popcorn, one of the largest movie theater popcorn companies, devised a creative solution: It’s selling the popcorn directly to consumers online. Now anyone who craves the popcorn they’d get at the snack counter can buy a 50-pound bag of kernels to make at home.

What’s different about this kind of popcorn? It tends to be fluffier and better at holding popular—and less healthy—toppings such as butter or cheese.

Preferred Popcorn hopes this fix will reduce the surplus so it can return to normal business when theaters finally reopen. “It would be excruciating to say we are not going to be able to contract acres with [farmers] next year,” Andrea Plucker, director of marketing for Preferred, told The Washington Post, “because we have an abundance of popcorn.”

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6 Comments
  1. Hai-Cheng 2 days ago

    Dear Rosa,
    I am intrigued by your post because I want to learn more about food.
    One thing you said that stands out for me is: “Those farmers now have a huge surplus on their hands, enough to fill about 80 million popcorn tubs.” I think this is interesting because of how corn there is.

    Your post reminds me of something that happened to my friend. One time he brought some popcorn for a movie and he told me it tasted like the popcorn from the movie theaters. When he said that I was looking at him with a confused look on my face because I was wondering how can you tell the difference between regular and movie theater popcorn.

    Thanks for your project. I look forward to seeing what you write next because…

  2. Drew 2 days ago

    Dear Rosa:
    I am Intrigued by your post, “Movie popcorn at home?,” because… It’s a topic I would have never thought of. It’s something new and gave me a true perspective of how these farmers are dealing and are storing popcorn.

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “Many movie theaters have been closed for months—and the popcorn is piling up.” I think this is brilliant because… After I read this sentence I wanted to know more. Questions started forming in my brain like yea, what has happened to the popcorn they use in movies? Where has it been put?

    Another sentence that I liked was: “so Preferred Popcorn, one of the largest movie theater popcorn companies, devised a creative solution: It’s selling the popcorn directly to consumers online.” This stood out for me because… These farmers weren’t gonna sit around and let the popcorn dry, They took action. (Even if the selling might not work as good as it did in the movie theaters) They started selling there popcorn. And getting it out there.

    I do agree with you that… Something has to be done. And showcasing this will spread “awareness” One reason I say this is… These farmers are suffering and they need support as well. Another reason I agree with you is… People need to know. That’s it, They just do.

    So Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because… This issue is something most people would have never thought of. Including me, but after reading this. You gave me an opportunity to see things differently. It’s not just the theaters closing, it’s all the people working behind the scenes and providing things for our viewing pleasure.
    They lost things as well.

  3. Ashley 2 days ago

    Dear Rosa:
    I am fascinated by your post, “Movie Popcorn at Home,” because It shows how we are all connected to each other and how companies are trying to even the situation brought by covid.
    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “Those farmers now have a huge surplus on their hands, enough to fill about 80 million popcorn tubs.” I think this is important because it shows how much of a surplus farmers have and now they must find different ways to sell their products to consumers.
    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because of your insight to to world being connected together.
    Ashley

  4. Nico 3 days ago

    Dear Rosa,
    I am interested in your post because I usually bought popcorn at movie theaters and never thought about what would happen if they shut down. I think the farmers should try and sell the kernels to grocery stores or something.
    One thing you said that stands out for me is: “enough to fill about 80 million tubs” I think this is sad, because the farmers main source of income is probably from movie theaters buying their popcorn but now that movie theaters are shut down there is nothing they can really do about it.

    Thanks for your post.

  5. Jeimy 6 days ago

    Dear Rosa,

    I am intrigued by your post because it gets me thinking about all the ways our society is connected. It’s being sold directly to consumers who are stuck at home and moving exercising less.

  6. Ms. Hernandez-Speer 6 days ago

    Dear Rosa,

    I am intrigued by your post because it gets me thinking about all the ways our society is connected, and how fragile some of those connections are. I mean, too much popcorn??? But yes, now I realize how the supply chain can be disrupted, and the problems that can cause.

    One thing you said that stands out for me is: “Those farmers now have a huge surplus on their hands, enough to fill about 80 million popcorn tubs…. What’s different about this kind of popcorn? It tends to be fluffier and better at holding popular—and less healthy—toppings such as butter or cheese.” I think this is significant because one thing leads to another: the theaters are closed, no one buys popcorn, there’s a surplus, it’s being sold directly to consumers who are stuck at home and moving/exercising less. What effect will this have on health?

    It makes me think about how far ahead we have to consider most of the choices we make.

    Thanks for your project. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I always like thinking about something from a different angle, even if it’s an uncomfortable thing to think about.

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