Is There a War on Snacks?

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First, they came for the popcorn, then they came for the airline peanuts. What are next, the vending machines?

With AMC theaters reporting an expected 25-cent increase on popcorn and candies prices, movie theater concessions are expected to rise across the country. Meanwhile, airline-riding foodies got bad news this week when US Airways (LCC) announced it will no longer serve snacks in coach class in order to save money.

Does this mean there’s a war on snacks?

Chris Davis, editor-in-chief of TheHealthySnacksBlog.com, says rising snack prices are just another casualty of the price of gasoline, but the extra coin required is not curbing anyone’s munchies.

Another reason snack prices may seem high is that many snacks are sold as 100- or 200-calorie single servings. Snackers seem to be willing to pay extra for individually wrapped nibblets. “The marketplace is willing to pay for it because they’re willing to associate portion control with health,” Davis says.

Snack prices could also be on the rise because of the popularity of preservative-free foods and organic foods, says Davis. Some preservative-free foods have a shorter shelf life, and foods spoil more easily, so vendors up prices to compensate. Organic foods can be pricier when the ingredients were harvested at smaller farms, rather than larger agribusiness farms.

Even recent mergers, remember that candy and gum company that merged together, are probably not going to help family budget's bottom line. But could rising snack prices prompt some budget watchers to start a diet? Unlikely. The marketplace is thus far willing to absorb the blow, he says. America, it seems, will pay (and maybe even fight) for the snacks they love so much.

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