How Much of What Type of Popcorn Should We Order for Show and Sell

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sales_transaction_colored_6641I am back from a recent break traveling around the country.  One question I was asked over and over again was “How much of what type of popcorn should I order?”  Before I answer this question, let’s look at factors which may affect how much you should order.

1.  Council Return Policy – This is the number one factor when determining the items you order for Show and Sell.  Many councils around the country place restrictions on returns.  Some do not allow any returns on chocolate or large variety boxes/tins.  In addition, some councils only allow returns in full cases.  This may help make the decision on whether to order that extra case of product.  In this scenario, it is better to sell out and ask for more than to over order and be penalized for returning your product.  Make sure you understand your council’s return policy.  I recommend only ordering chocolate or large variety boxes/tins if you already have a pre-order for the item.

2.  New products – For the many years I have been involved with popcorn, every year there is a new product or packaging which is released.  Every year I see units over order new product.  The challenge is there is no precedent on how much consumers will purchase.  I recommend reducing any new product to just one case or not ordering any new product for Show and Sell.

3.  How many Show and Sell hours are you planning to sell – Around the country, the average unit sells $100/hour at a Show and Sell location.  This can fluctuate depending on the part of the country you live, the product you are selling and the experience level of the Scouts who are selling.  Ask units in your district how much they sell on average per hour.  Use the guideline of $100/hour and adjust accordingly for your area.
After reviewing Units around the country for many years, the percentage of a particular type of popcorn has not changed much.

Here is a breakdown of average Show and Sell orders last year in containers over the last three years:

Chart 1

Here is a breakdown of total sales over the last three years in containers:

Chart 2

Once again these numbers are by container. The number of containers per case has changed for various products over the last several years.  Doing the evaluation by containers is the only way to compare ‘apples to apples’.  If you noticed Military Orders are not listed in Show and Sell Orders even though this is where this money is often collected.  The reason is because money collected for Military Orders are not placed into the system until the Take Order.

Use these numbers only as a guideline.  Because of the number of containers per case and range of products offered in each council, it is unlikely your unit will get to these exact numbers.  However, I hope this will serve as a starting point when placing your Show and Sell Order.

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