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Author Topic: The Candwich - Sandwiches, Pizza, French Toast, Cinnamon Rolls... in a Can  (Read 4668 times)

Jay Sadie

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[float=right][smg id=87 caption="The Candwich"][/float]Mark Kirkland is used to skeptics. He’s comfortable with critics. He’s unfazed by the reaction he typically gets the first time people hear about his invention: “Ewwwwwwww.”

Kirkland, 50, of Salt Lake City, Utah, has dedicated more than a decade of his life to a single concept: The sandwich in a can.

Or, actually, make that a few concepts: Sandwiches in a can. Pizza in a can. French toast in a can. Cinnamon rolls in a can.

Why a can? Because, when combined with techniques similar to those used to preserve Meals Ready-to-Eat for soldiers, an aluminum can keeps food fresh for a full year or even longer. Yes, that’s right: A fresh, year-old sandwich.

And cans have an added benefit, Kirkland noted: They fit perfectly inside all the soda vending machines that exist, well, everywhere. That means his “Candwich” products could be sold in both stores and vending machines.

“So think about it,” Kirkland explained. “You’re a mom running your kids between school, piano lessons, soccer. Stopping at a fast-food restaurant takes time. This is something that literally could roll around the car for a few months. ... I kind of compare it to bottled water when it first came out. At the time I thought, ‘Why would I pay a dollar for a bottle of water when I can just go to the water fountain?’ Now I drink bottled water every day. It’s convenient.”

Because of their staying power, inventor Kirkland also sees a place for Candwiches in emergency-preparedness kits and at times when natural disasters strike.

“I wish I would have had about 100 million of these when the earthquake hit Haiti,” Kirkland said. “Or any time there’s a hurricane or the power goes out. ... I think of it as more of a convenience item than an emergency item, but I do think it’s perfect for emergencies.”

Next up: The BBQ Chicken Candwich, the BBQ Beef Candwich, French toast that contains a maple filling, and cinnamon rolls that come with a spreadable chocolate sauce. Kirkland also has plans to unveil canned calzones and canned wrapped sandwiches in the future.
Pretty soon consumers will be able to add a sandwich to their soda order when they do business with a vending machine.He foresees the products selling in soda vending machines for $2 to $3, and in grocery stores and convenience stores for varying prices.

He patented the concept of putting a non-beverage item inside a soda container in 1999. He found an investor named Travis L. Wright who wanted to back the Candwich and help bring it to the market — but as time passed, everything went awry.

It turns out that Wright allegedly used money raised from about 175 other investors to support Candwich development and other business ideas. But those other investors had given Wright $145 million to invest in commercial real estate. A lawsuit filed this month by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission maintains that Wright committed fraud by misleading his investors and using their money to fund a “lavish lifestyle.”

“He had me in limbo for years, and then he left me in the lurch,” Kirkland said. “When the real estate market crashed, his business crashed, and now he’s being charged with fraud. It’s nothing that we did wrong; it’s just that he turned out to be a bad investor.”

Kirkland said he’s struggled to get the Candwiches to the product-launch point without Wright’s full, promised backing. It took a while to pull that off in this economy.

“It’s been a long, hard road,” he said. “It’s been a tough five years. If I didn’t really believe in the product and I didn’t have a good wife, I’d probably be dead now.”

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[smg id=86 type=av caption="Australian Morning Show Interview with Mark Kirkland"]
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 10:29:22 AM by Jay Sadie »
"I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success." - Nikola Tesla
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