Popcorn Business Tip: Strategize Your Pricing

Popcorn Business Tip: Strategize Your PricingSetting the right price point for your concessions is a key strategy for increasing profits. Whether your popcorn business is at an amusement park, a roller rink, a convenience store, or a little league concession stand, you’ll quickly see how important pricing is. Along with promotions and merchandising techniques, this variable will allow you to test your market, track your results, and move forward with the best price for you and for your customer.

You’ll see that because Gold Medal popcorn is so affordable, you’ll have great flexibility in pricing while still generating strong profit margins. Here’s a breakdown showing an example of your costs, your pricing, and your profit:

Example: Food Cost Per 1-oz Serving of Popcorn
50 lb. Bag (#2040) = 4.4¢
Oil Bars (#2042) = 5.0¢
Flavacol® (#2045) = .5¢
Container – 44-E Scoop Box (#2066) =10.0¢
= 19.9¢ food cost per 1-oz serving
Suggested Retail – $1.25 to $2.00 per one-ounce serving.

Another pricing practice is to know what your competitors’ prices are, as well as their quality and options (Is their popcorn cheaper? If so, is it cheaper for a reason?). Also know your customers, which will likely vary by location. Popcorn pricing (margins) will be different at a high-end candy shop/bakery (which can offer gourmet popcorn) than at a youth event, for example.

Selling popcorn on its own is effective, but you can also consider bundling it with another concession item as a special offer. While this lowers the price per item, it will likely increase your overall profit because of the upsell.

Ideas for Popcorn Pricing Promotions

  • Use your menu board to create tie-ins such as a large popcorn with a large soft drink. This “two for” can be a permanent part of your menu board—not just a coupon special.
  • More than 75% of all households in America are avid coupon redeemers. If there’s a way you can pass out coupons at your admission gate or ticket window or as customers buy a given item with a coupon tipped on, try it. Coupons work.
  • Offer a serving of popcorn with butter at half price for a specific hour. Be sure to push this promo on social media for maximum reach. Use Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram to announce it ahead of time or on the spot.
  • Designate a “Free popcorn with every $4.00 purchase or more” promotion. This kind of special builds goodwill, and it doesn’t cost much.

Track Your Results

Pricing is a bit of an art form, so test your results by keeping a simple spreadsheet with the date, food cost, total sales (dollar amount and number of items sold), and your promotions. Use this to make informed decisions for your next event and put your plan in writing so that it’s easier to remember and execute.

We’re curious – what promotions have worked best for you? Tell us on LinkedIn (and click here to share this article on LinkedIn as well!).


Come to Gold Medal for all of your concession needs, including equipment, supplies, and creative ideas.


Categories: Increasing Profits, Popcorn/Gourmet Popcorn

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