As Movie Theaters Struggle, Farmers Are Running Out of Room for Unsold Popcorn

Lynda Sanchez, Unsplash
Lynda Sanchez, Unsplash

People started eating popcorn at the movies during the Great Depression, and the snack has been a staple of cinemas ever since. After decades of reliable sales, popcorn farmers are now faced with a conundrum: What to do with tons of surplus kernels as movie theaters across the country remain shuttered.

As Food & Wine reports, how people get their popcorn has changed drastically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the crisis, roughly 30 percent of all popcorn in the U.S. was consumed outside the home. The coronavirus lockdowns boosted sales of the microwave popcorn sold in grocery stores, while movie theater popcorn suddenly lost its main market.

Popcorn for cinemas and popcorn for the home don't come from the same suppliers. Movie theater popcorn farmers are used to selling their product directly to theaters, so they aren't equipped to provide the packaging necessary to get it into supermarkets. Preferred Popcorn is one of the largest movie theater popcorn growers, and it's reportedly installed seven new silos to store the surplus popcorn it has accumulated since the start of the pandemic. That's enough to fill about 80 million movie theater popcorn tubs.

Compared to some other crops, popcorn has a relatively long shelf life. Growers can hold onto their unsold kernels for about a year before the internal moisture necessary to make them pop dries out. Given the current state of the theater industry, the window may be too short. Though theaters in some parts of the country have started to reopen, attendance is still low.

One temporary solution is selling movie theater popcorn to consumers in bulk. Preferred Popcorn sell its kernels online in massive 30-pound and 50-pound bags. If you miss going out to the movies, buying enough popcorn to stock a concession stand may be a small consolation.

[h/t Food & Wine]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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KFC's Fried Chicken-Scented Firelogs Are Available at Walmart This Year

Forget the smell of warm cookies. Your home can now smell like fried chicken.
Forget the smell of warm cookies. Your home can now smell like fried chicken.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The famous 11 herbs and spices recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) remains a closely guarded secret. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take home a firelog that will crackle with the aroma of a fresh bucket of fried chicken this holiday season.

All the smell, none of the calories.Walmart

The KFC 11 Herbs and Spices Firelog ($16) has been a popular novelty purchase for the past two years, and this year, it’s available exclusively at Walmart. Made in partnership with Enviro-Log, the flammable product releases a scent reminiscent of KFC’s distinctive seasoning combination, which the company promises will last around two and a half hours while burning.

KFC originally sold the log directly through their website in 2018 and 2019, but now it's available at Walmart ($16), either on the company’s website or in select stores while supplies last (if it's sold out, Amazon or eBay may be your only other options). Considering KFC is owned by Yum! Brands, which also operates Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, perhaps a Crunch Wrap firelog is in our future.

[h/t MarketWatch]