AMC Theatres makes hire to take its Perfectly Popcorn to retail

Al Urbanski
Perfectly Popcorn
Still hurting at the box office, the nation's largest cinema chain will seek added revenue by putting its Perfectly Popcorn in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Cinema chains continue to be the retail center tenants hardest hit by the pandemic, and that’s led one to get into the retail business.

AMC Theatres, the largest chain in the United States with nearly 1,000 theatres and 11,000 screens, will tap into a revenue stream inside Targets and Krogers that neighbor its cinemas with the introduction of a packaged goods version of its AMC Perfectly Popcorn.

To do that, it has hired Frito-Lay and Hostess Brands veteran Ellen Copaken as VP of growth strategy to move Perfectly Popcorn from the in-theater popper into four new channels:

• Stores, kiosks, and counters at select malls, 
• direct delivery to homes and businesses of Perfectly Popcorn popped in local AMC theatres,
• to-go packages that may be picked up at its theatres, and
• microwavable AMC Theatres Perfectly Popcorn packages in supermarkets, convenience stores, and other foodservice venues.

“I have been vocal about our intention to innovate, grow and transform AMC’s business with our planned venture into the multi-billion dollar popcorn industry being a significant example of our doing so,” said Adam Aaron, chairman and CEO of the Leawood, Kan.-based cinema chain. “I am therefore quite pleased to welcome Ellen Copaken [to] AMC, who is an extremely important hire for us.”

For the last four years, Kopaken served as a partner at Sterling Rice Group, where she led growth strategy projects in the foodservice, retail, consumer package goods, and hospitality industries. At PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, and Hostess she launched dozens of new food and beverage products.

AMC claims to be the nation’s top seller of freshly popped popcorn, serving up more than a million bags per week at its theatres.

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