Popcorn is a snack food staple. It's hard to find many people who don't like it. Like chocolate, popcorn's popularity as a snack virtually ensures that consumer demand for it will stand the test of time.
Popcorn's immense popularity has made it a concession food staple at festivals, amusement parks and sporting events. But the snack isn't always an easy sell. A number of factors come into play, including competing concessionaires and a wide selection of snacks to choose from.
Fortunately, the problem of lagging popcorn sales has a solution. Maximizing the consumer visibility of your popcorn machine as well as implementing a well-organized promotional campaign is sure to have a positive impact on popcorn sales.
Popcorn Popper Placement
Popcorn poppers are made to be seen. The eye-catching design of the machine, the popping of the kernels, and especially the smell of fresh popping popcorn; these are all things that entice consumers to purchase popcorn from your stand. To maximize the "charm" of your popcorn maker, move it to the front counter if possible. Research shows moving impulse snacks from the back to the front counter can improve sales as much as 50 percent.
When buying a popcorn machine, always select one with illumination. A popper with a lighted dome is sure to attract customers. Another marketing technique is to place your machine next to the soft drink stand or some other product customers tend to buy in conjunction with popcorn. This will entice consumers to purchase both products.
Popcorn's freshness deteriorates the longer it sits in the machine. Therefore, a consistent stream of purchases is crucial in order to generate profit from popcorn sales. One of the most effective methods in maintaining steady popcorn sales is implementing a promotions campaign that encompasses the entirety of your concession stand season. Below is a small sample of some promotions you might like to try:
Turn back the price day: Having a "15 cent popcorn day" could be a good way to drive up sales for other products at your stand.
Menu item tie-ins: Offer special prices for buying a combination of certain products. Buy one get one free promotions tend to receive a strong consumer response as well.
Limited-time specials: Offer reduced prices for popcorn within a certain time frame; i.e., "For the next 15 minutes, regular-size popcorn is only $2." Such promotions are a good way to move popcorn that is on the verge of losing its freshness.
Coupons: Consider handing out coupons for free popcorn to every twentieth customer or maybe at random around town. Research shows 75 percent of American households are sticklers for coupons of all kinds, whether it's for the grocery store or an auto repair shop.
Container redemption: Build a loyal following by allowing customers to receive a free popcorn order by returning ten empty popcorn containers purchased from your concession stand.
All the above ideas are promotions that have proved to be successful for some concessionaires. But the only way to know whether these promotions will work for you is to try them out, and stick with the ones that prove to be effective.