Why Food & Beverages Cost Insanely High At Movie Theaters?

Ever excused yourself to the washroom to avoid the dreaded interval? Ever been tempted to eat something at the movies but had to digress because of the insanely high prices? Ever hated your friends for not contributing equally for the food and drinks you bought at the multiplex?

Well, these are the questions that evolve out of our weekly trips to movies. Now you gotta realise, cinema in today's time comes at a price. A price that keeps getting more and more unrealistic as we speak.

One of the most prominent reasons behind this is the unreasonable food prices at these multiplexes.

Everyone knows movies and food go hand-in-hand. With that in mind, the regular Joe better carry some extra dough in his pocket the next time he goes for a movie, because a sandwich and a regular coke in a movie theater will cost him more than the movie did.

And while we all agree that this insanely high pricing of food in multiplexes is unfair and almost criminal, why is it then that these prices keep soaring?

In the west, about 90% profit from the ticket sales goes to the production companies, leaving very little margin for the multiplexes to justify their investment. Hence, they increase the cost of food and beverages at the kiosks to make some extra bucks.

However, India functions a little differently from the west. Despite the fact that India doesn't follow the above-mentioned model, we still have insanely high prices of food and beverages at multiplexes.

Here's why the hole in your pocket gets wider with every visit to your nearest multiplex:

These multiplexes outsource food stalls to third party contractors at a very high cost, which leaves these contractors to recover their investment by way of sales, which in turn leads to exorbitant prices.

If a film-goer can afford a Rs. 300 ticket, they can also afford a Rs 120 cold drink. This understanding of consumer behavior leads to food stalls charging a heavy but non-rhetorical amount for food items.

The purpose of expensive popcorn is not to extract a lot of money from customers. That purpose would be better served by cheap popcorn and expensive movie tickets. Instead, the purpose of expensive popcorn is to extract different sums from different customers.

By not allowing outside food in the premise of a movie theater, the multiplex has cut any and all ties with existing competition once you enter that gate. Once you're in there, you're at their mercy to feed yourself. The food vendors are very well aware of the fact that movies and food go hand-in-hand and hence it's easier for them to monopolize the market inside the multiplex.

Theoretically, yes. But, they are aware that their consumer base may altogether avoid their products if the pricing gets unreasonably high. And that's the reason why a regular Pepsi at a movie theater costs around ₹120 and not ₹1200.