“This is the worst season we’ve ever had,” said third-generation popcorn purveyor Mark Shew, who runs the family’s farm in Vigo County. “In some places, they’re going to be down to counting kernels at the bottom of the storage bins.”
The situation has had popcorn buyers – from small mom-and-pop shops to larger food chains – scrambling for months to line up their supplies for this fall. Their options are limited.
Retail prices have jumped this summer: from about US$20 (S$25) for a 50 pound bag to US$30 or higher, said Tim Caldwell, owner of Pop It Rite, an Illinois-based popcorn industry expert and snack foods consultant. Wholesale prices have started to creep up, too, he said.
The popcorn industry – which sold US $985.7 million in 2010 worth of unpopped kernels, down 2.2 per cent from five years earlier – is barely an economic nibble out of the country’s corn world. Most of the popcorn consumed worldwide is grown in the United States. Export demand for the fluffy, crunchy snack has been slowly rising in recent years from China and Russia.
LISTEN NOW: Diabetes Podcast inspired by Whitney Houston
What do you like to eat to stay healthy? The happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic plays his newest food game, Serve, Taste or Trash to reveal the world’s most loved and hated foods.
Meet Mr. Divabetic on the red carpet at Plus Night Out – NYC, New York, NY, Divabetic – Makeover Your Diabetes in Philadelphia, PA the American Diabetes Association Expo in Pittsburgh, PA and the Taking Control Of Your Diabetes Health Fair & Conferences in San Diego, Ca and Austin, TX in Fall 2012. For more glitter, games and glucose advice visit: www.divabetic.org Original music by Douglas Clay: www.douglasclaymusic.com