I like stuff.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

For those concerned about inflation...

Think about this for a second, and ask yourself, are these two articles connected?

First, Rising Popcorn Costs Increase Movie Ticket Prices

Second, Portion Size Inflation, in easily digestible images

These two articles appeared in my RSS reader within a day or two of each other. I'll save you the rant of reading as much as you can from as many sources as you can.

I'm confused on this, conventional wisdom keeps telling me that movie ticket prices and popcorn prices are traditionally decoupled. Popcorn and other concessionary are the profit centers for the theaters, as the lion's share (and much of the rest of the pride's share) goes to the distributors, studios, etc.

I also read a lot of websites that are concerned about consumer/consumerism issues, and a favored trick for manufacturers to cut costs is to maintain a price while reducing the amount of good sold. You see this a lot with things like bar soap, where the new "ergonomic shape" costs the same, doesn't really offer a lot else other than "Oh yeah, and we could shave off about 1/8th of what we used to sell you." Ok, they had to retrofit their machine molds, but I'm sure some cost/benefit analysis said: We'll be profiting shortly.

So I'm curious. In the boom/bust cycle, do sizes grow to attract people to "Wow, but I can get 10x for only $1!", and then in the bust, some measure of higher prices and reduced quantity?

I guess some of it makes sense, but I notice one missing scenario: lower prices for the same quantity.

No comments: