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Pricing and Costs of Popcorn

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Editor Staff
Aug 03, 2011

Research the types of popcorn available to find the best to fit your company's budget

Whether you run a movie theater, snack bar or gourmet gift basket company, popcorn is a popular seller.

While popcorn has been a staple American snack food for centuries, today, popcorn comes in a wide range of styles, flavors and prices.


Popcorn can be purchased in several forms, from raw kernels to ready-to-sell bags of pre-popped, flavored corn. Assess each available option and then decide which type or combination of options is best for your business. When determining the pricing and costs of popcorn, consider the following:

1. Popcorn kernel prices vary by type.

2. Determine whether you want to sell pre-popped or prepacked popcorn.

3. Consider the benefits of spending more on gourmet corn.


Save money by purchasing un-popped popcorn kernels in bulk

For proprietors of movie theaters, snack bars and outdoor food services, un-popped popcorn kernels are generally the cheapest option at roughly $20 to $40 for 50 lbs. worth. You can buy them in bulk and select different varieties of kernels for different types of popped corn.

Research pricing for pre-popped and prepacked popcorn from popcorn distributors

Pre-popped popcorn is already popped, packed in special containers to preserves freshness and available in different flavors. Pre-popped usually costs around $60 and up per 100 unit case and varies by number of units per case and flavors. You can also sell prepackaged popcorn which is packaged into small portions, usually of 4-oz. and 8-oz., for individual use. Depending on the size of the packages, prices of prepacked popcorn can range from $17 up to $30 for 24 pouches per case.

Note the high costs, but potential benefits of a gourmet popcorn business

As consumer tastes become more sophisticated, so does the popularity of specialty and gourmet popcorn. While gourmet popcorn is usually much more expensive than traditional varieties, they give you the opportunity to reach a high-end customer base. Prices usually start at about $30 for 11-lb. bags and vary depending on the size, brand and flavor. In most cases you will need to contact the company for exact prices.

  • When purchasing popcorn, don’t forget to purchase any necessary popcorn equipment and supplies from your popcorn distributor. You can often negotiate for a price break when you purchase additional items with your popcorn order.
Image Credit:

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks Staff
Chad Brooks is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of media of experience. He has been with Business News Daily and for the past decade, having written and edited content focused specifically on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Chad spearheads coverage of small business communication services, including business phone systems, video conferencing services and conference call solutions. His work has appeared on The Huffington Post,,, Live Science, IT Tech News Daily, Tech News Daily, Security News Daily and Laptop Mag. Chad's first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.