One of the perks of going to see a movie is the concession stand. Nothing quite like stuffing your mouth with a favorite snack while watching the latest blockbuster. The movie and the snacks go hand in hand for a lot of us and this usually leads to eating ungodly amounts of it.
According to a study by Cornell University, even when foods are not palatable, large packages and containers can lead to overeating. They observed that moviegoers who were given fresh popcorn ate 45% more popcorn when it was given to them in large containers. Even when they were served 14-day old stale popcorn, they still ate a whopping 34% more when given to them in large containers compared to medium sized containers.
I hate to be the party pooper, but there are some foods at the theatre you are better off without.
CNN Money put together a list of “America’s Biggest Rip Offs” and the number 2 on that list is everyone’s favorite snack at the movies, popcorn. A medium bag of popcorn costs about 60 cents to make and retails for about $6, with a whopping 900% percent markup. According to Richard McKenzie, an economics professor at the University of California-Irvine, theater owners mark up prices of their snacks so much because they don’t make as much profit elsewhere.
The cinema is a place where we don’t mind indulging our cravings, but just keep in mind that a large popcorn with butter has 1,500 calories and it is the same as eating three Big Macs. A typical snack combo (medium popcorn, a medium soda and a candy item) has more fat, more carbs and more salt than you’re supposed to eat in an entire day. Now, if you’re still not convinced to pass on the popcorn on your next visit, a significant number of former workers recalled on Reddit AMA about the rare times the popcorn machines were cleaned and how often they served leftover popcorn from the day before.
For those who still can’t resist the temptation to grab a buttery popcorn, Medical Daily recommends a smaller serving size, or just sharing it with someone and simply eating less.
Everyone has a different favorite spot for hot dogs, and the movies aren’t anyone’s go-to place. Let’s be honest the hot dogs at the theatre stands are only slightly edible. If you want one, you are better off getting it from a well-established hotdog vendor. According to some former theatre employees, the hot dogs were often reheated, served the next day and kept for 3 days before being thrown away. Hotdogs come in different sizes and toppings; a chili cheese hotdog contains about 620 calories, 1480mg of sodium and 36 grams of fat. The American Heart Association only recommends a daily serving of around 1500mg of sodium. Save it for the baseball game.
Only a tiny fraction of a $10 ticket goes to the theater's profits. Concession Stands are what make a movie theatre a viable business. Richard McKenzie, an economics professor and author of the book “Why Popcorn Costs So Much At The Movies,” says that “it is what pays for a lot of stuff at the movie theater," He also mentions that: "A lot of theater owners tell me, 'I consider myself working in concessions, not movies.'”
So, it’s obvious why the drinks are so marked up as well; a soda that costs around 49 cents to make, costs us around $5.25. That’s insane. Whatever your choice of snacks, you will want to go for one of those slushies or sodas to wash down those delicious treats. Maybe give them a pass next time.
American Heart Association recommends a daily intake of sugars not exceeding 36g for men and 25g for women. A box of M&Ms contains roughly 525 calories, 22.5 grams of fat and an unhealthy 68 grams of sugar, twice the daily recommended limit. Even the seemingly healthier option of raisinets comes with its own fine print. It contains 16 grams of fat and 56 grams of sugar only slightly less than its colorful counterpart, M&Ms. No one will judge if you wolf down an entire box of your favorite candies but you might want to limit your sugar intake and share it with your group next time the urge hits to visit the cinema.
These sliders are supposed to be mini burgers to be enjoyed as a snack, however, the sort available at the movie theatres are straight up junk. Now burgers and sliders are supposed to be comfort foods and are best enjoyed with good meat, sauce and toppings, the ones at the concession stands are a far cry from a decent meal. You’re better off visiting a burger joint for your meat fix. It’s understandable to occasionally indulge on some delicious burgers but stay away from these incredibly marked up sliders for your own sake.
You may be wondering what to get, then? I recommend gummy bears, Sour Patch Kids, SweeTarts etc. The urge to gorge on snacks while enjoying a movie at the cinema can be super tempting, So use your own judgment and go for a more healthier choice. Or Don’t, No one will judge you. Cheers!