Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sushi On A Stick A Candid Conversation With Lucas Furst About The Sushi Popper

Flavored ice on a stick is called a Popsicle, hotdogs on a stick breaded of course is called a Pogo and now a new item on a stick is on the market. Sushi, that's right Sushi. Called the Sushi Popper; Popper Foods has begun to launch this unique fare via a unique vehicle, via Food Network's show Unwrapped. I have tried fried Sushi in the past so when I saw the press release for the Sushi Popper I popped a request off to Lucas Furst the President and Co-Founder of Popper Foods the company behind the Sushi Popper for an inside track on this unique product. Mr. Furst thanks for if I may use a pun, popping in.

Lucas Furst: Thank you Cliff for the opportunity you are giving me to be on Candid Conversations.

Cliff T.: For the uninitiated can you tell us what is Sushi?

Lucas Furst: Sushi indicates foods that use rice seasoned with sweet rice-wine vinegar. Of, raw fish is the most popular ingredient in sushi, but the main element of Sushi is Japanese sticky rice. There are many kinds of sushi, which don’t include raw fish. Cooked fish, shellfish, and various other ingredients can be combined in sushi.

Cliff T.: Now I have to ask, what inspired the creation of the Sushi Popper?

Lucas Furst: Sushi Popper was created by both myself and by my partner. We each had two different visions of sushi. My personal vision and the creation of Sushi Popper was when I ate sushi in the car going to work one day the sushi fell all over my lap out of the traditional sushi box also called a Bento box. The sushi was hard to eat and the soy sauce was everywhere.

Cliff T.: One of the interesting things I noted on the website was that you have desert Sushi. Mr. Furst is that a new take on Sushi?

Lucas Furst: We do have some new desserts we are exploring such as Mochi, flan, and more that fits in the tube and you will be able to eat on the go around the world.

Cliff T.: I noted that you have a variety of flavors can you explain how you decided on what flavors you would sell?

Lucas Furst: Our Flavors took sometime to develop and continue to develop based on the general public. Our Executive chef and Senior Product Manager Davin Waite has developed California Roll, Teriyaki Chicken Roll, Miso Chicken Roll, Sweet Chili Tofu Roll, Ginger-Scallion Yellow Tail Roll, Habenero Smoked Banana Seared Albacore Roll.

Cliff T.: Mr. Furst what has been the reaction from people to the Sushi Popper?

Lucas Furst: The reaction has been unbelievable these are some of the reactions we were receiving. It’s Awesome!------It’s Great!-------It’s Amazing!------It’s the Most Exciting Item!-----------It’s the best new product we’ve seen in years!-------It’s Going to revolutionize sushi eating!-------We want it for our schools!----------When can we get it?--------Where can we get it?-------etc---etc-----

Cliff T.: How long has Sushi Popper been available for people to purchase and how long did it take to develop the Sushi Popper?

Lucas Furst: Sushi Popper has been available for a short amount of time in California in Oceanside at a restaurant called Fish Joint. We have been in a number of university magazines in California such as University Link Magazine. People have been known to drive all the way from downtown LA to Ocean side and eat at Fish Joint restaurant for Sushi Popper. As for the amount of time it took us to develop Sushi Popper its been well over a year in development.

Cliff T.: What was the biggest challenge you faced developing this product and how did you overcome it?

Lucas Furst: We had many challenges that we faced in development. One of the most challenging challenges was to make the Sushi Popper an airtight canister to not allow any oxidation or oxygen to enter the tube at a great rate causing the food to deteriorate rapidly. We had many months of trying to seal the container on the bottom and on the top testing for leaking and making our product a fully recyclable product was also a challenge.

Cliff T.: I have to ask this question because we all know that Sushi is a Japanese dish. Have you or are you planning on going into the Japanese market? If so when? If not why?

Lucas Furst: We have explored bringing this to the Japanese market in Tokyo. We are currently in negotiations in Tokyo for our product Sushi Popper. We have many scientists and marketing reps working out there bringing Sushi Popper to the Tokyo area quickly.

Cliff T.: Besides the United States do you plan to market the Sushi Popper in other markets if so where?

Lucas Furst: We have discussed many open markets for Sushi Popper. We want to create a new platform for people eating not only sushi but other types of food as well. We are looking at the European market, such as bringing our product to Stadiums, schools, airlines and more.

Cliff T.: If people want to try the Sushi Popper where would they go to buy it?

Lucas Furst: Sushi Popper will be offered in California and New York City, quickly expanding nationwide by the end of March. People can also order online starting the end of next week nationally and this item can be shipped to your home or business address.

Cliff T.: Mr Furst it sounds like you are off to a good start thus far. Do you think that you'll be trying other products like this in future?

Lucas Furst: We have a number of lines we are starting, Sushi Popper being one of our sushi lines. We will be expanding quickly with vegetarian wraps, as well as chicken teriyaki wraps steak wraps in a tortilla, egg rolls, spring rolls and more. Our company also known as Popper Foods will be quickly expanding.

Cliff T.: Well I can say that is probably one of the most unique products I have come across I hope that you do well with it and have fun at the same time. Thanks so much for letting readers of Candid Conversations know about the Sushi Popper.

Lucas Furst: Thank you cliff for your time, and being a part of our new break through called Sushi Popper

Cliff T.: Lucas Furst is the President and Co-Founder of Popper Foods which markets the Sushi Popper. Which was featured on an episode of Unwrapped on the Food Network. The company has two locations one in New York and the other in Las Vegas.

For more information on the Sushi Popper itself visit

C. T.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Candid Conversation With Charles Looker About New Bingo Cards---I 27 That's I As In Innovation 27

Bingo in the UK is about to get an interesting face lift. A new kind of Bingo Ticket book is being produced by Edwardthompson a company that has been in the business of printing since 1867 and has been supplying products to the leisure gaming industry for the past 50 years. The company has developed the 3rd Generation Bingo Ticket Book. A fully colored book of tickets that can be customized is now on the market for Bingo Clubs in the UK. I contacted Charles Looker to find out more about the book. Mr Looker thanks for taking time to take part in a Candid Conversation.

Cliff T.: can you explain the differences between the old Bingo tickets and the new ones that your company is producing?

Charles Looker: The big difference is that where previously bingo tickets had to follow a set design which was repeated on every page of every book. Now each and every page can be a completely different design and in full colour. This means that a customer can jazz up how they present the bingo grids and numbers or they can design a completely different number related game.

Cliff T.: Your press release states that these new tickets will give Bingo clubs the opportunity to use a new style of games, in what way?

Charles Looker: Because the tickets are printed using a full colour digital printer instead of traditional printing methods, every ticket design in a book can now be different. This flexibility means we can create new number games for clubs to play such as ‘bingo roulette’ or even image based games such as ‘match the celebrity face’.

Cliff T.: Can the books be changed in size or shape?

Charles Looker: At the moment they are produced in the standard sizes used by bingo clubs however with the advances in print finishing technology anything is possible.

Cliff T.: What was wrong with the old style?

Charles Looker: Nothing at all! Many customers and players still love our traditional style books. The main advantage of the new style books is the flexibility in design which makes them look more visually appealing and also enables clubs to insert adverts and sponsorship messages into the tickets giving them increased commercial opportunities.

Gala (the biggest bingo club in the UK) have rolled out the tickets across all their clubs and we expect other clubs to follow but some clubs will still prefer the traditional styles tickets which we have no intention of withdrawing.

Cliff T.: Mr. Looker what has been the reaction from the clubs and the players to the new books?

Charles Looker: Very good. Gala Bingo has reported good feedback with clubs and players alike enjoying the new style tickets.

Cliff T.: Why now, what prompted the change?

Charles Looker: Edwardthompson have always been innovators in the UK bingo market, which is a challenging market. We have over 50 years of printing experience and when we saw the opportunity to offer the bingo market the benefits of the latest full colour digital printing technology at a commercially viable price, we jumped on it.

Cliff T.: How did Edwardthompson develop 3rd Generation Bingo books?

Charles Looker: We combined the needs and wish list of our current customers with the potential benefits of full colour digital printing and our 50 years of bingo ticket production experience. What we must not forget is that every 3rd generation bingo book can be completely different to another.

Cliff T.: So far what are the most commonly wanted color schemes you get requests for?

Charles Looker: This really varies. Gala Bingo have a different colour for every page. We are really only at the beginning of discovering how our customers will want to take advantage of the limitless design options.

Cliff T.: How big an industry is Bingo in the UK?

Charles Looker: The UK bingo industry is has around 600 clubs, over 60 million admissions per year and an industry revenue of around £2bn.(+)

Cliff T.: Mr Looker are you planning to market this product outside of the UK?

Charles Looker: We are looking at all our options at the moment however the UK market is the priority at this point.

Cliff T.: It sounds like Bingo is evolving or morphing so to speak. What plans does Edwardthompson have in mind to go beyond 3rd Generation Bingo?

Charles Looker: There are many parts of the industry which we are involved in from supplying and installing electronic bingo terminals to promotional marketing for bingo clubs and club refurbishments. We are constantly looking at how we can help the bingo market evolve, watch this space.

Cliff T: Well it sounds like this new style of Bingo play should be a win win for everyone. Thank you for telling us about it.

Charles Looker: My Pleasure.

Cliff T.: Charles Looker is a Marketing Manger with Edwardthompson a printing firm located in Sunderland England. The company provides 60% of the Bingo books in the U.K. Recently launched a new product called 3rd Generation Bingo. For more information on the company and it's products visit them at

Footnote: (+) the Canadian equivalent to 2B British Pound is 3.24 Billion Cdn.