Here’s our delightful gallery of people “enjoying” Sushi Poppers, frozen sushi push pops:
If you were wondering — what is a Sushi Popper? — well, wonder no longer. It is a portable tube with fresh pre-sliced sushi that is pushed up from the bottom and eaten from the top. And here’s our interview with Evan Kaye, CEO & Co-Founder, Popper Foods LLC.:
How are Sushi Popper rolls made?
“Sushi Popper rolls are typically made fresh daily and sold that day. Our strict quality standards combined with the use of automated sushi manufacturing equipment ensures that all our Sushi Popper rolls are consistent wherever you buy them. Through specialized techniques we also have the capability to freeze Sushi Popper rolls and deliver them frozen around the country where they need only be left out for two hours at room temperature to be eaten.”
What types of rolls do you offer?
“Sushi Popper rolls are available in all the popular flavors, and more. We’ve been fortunate to have the talented Davin Waite working with us to come up with innovative recipes that are best suited for Sushi Popper rolls. Through extensive testing we have perfected recipes for both regular rolls (nori seaweed on the outside) and inside out rolls (with rice on the outside).”
Where can people buy them?
“Specialized frozen Sushi Popper rolls right here online, we make it really easy for people with free shipping. You can also find them at local stores as well as school cafeterias, campuses, in drive-thru’s, airports, on airplanes, beach resorts, and more. The possibilites for sushi eating locations are now endless. We encourage people to ask their local retailers and schools to contact us and find out how they can sell Sushi Popper rolls. We have contracted sushi manufacturers all around the country as well as outside the United States, all of which can supply fresh sushi made daily. We’ve heard stories of people taking them skiing where they stay cool and refrigerated by the environment until they’re ready to be eaten, and also of people eating them while surfing! We recommend eating responsibly and not doing anything hazardous, but we’re excited to hear that people are appreciating taking sushi to places where it has never been before.”
Schools must love this, but do kids eat sushi?
“Sushi has become tremendously popular amongst all ages. We’re strictly compliant with all school nutrition standards, and you will notice that many items on our menu do not contain raw fish. We have cooked fish, cooked meat and vegetarian varieties, all of which are recommended for school settings. Sushi Popper rolls are a healthy alternative to other choices in school cafeterias and are fun to eat.”
Where did this idea come from?
“Motivated by the need to eat sushi while on the go, I was interested in developing some sort of packaging that would be conducive to this. My first thought was to use a device with a wind up wheel, similar to that used for deodorant sticks such that it would advance the sushi roll up as a wheel was turned. It was quickly apparent that a more simple push up methodology would be more suitable, and together with my Co-Founder, Lucas Furst, who also coined the brand name “Sushi Popper”, we started experimenting with such a device.”
How have people reacted?
“The response from consumers has been incredible. Everyone has been astounded by the concept, as it changes the paradigm of the way people conceive eating sushi. No longer do people need chopsticks and a table to enjoy sushi. Nevertheless, the process to perfect the Sushi Popper roll took months of development and testing. Initially we used tubes made of cardboard with an opaque lid. People told us they preferred seeing the contents of the tube before they bought it. We responded by introducing a clear lid. They then told us the rolls were a little too wide to comfortably eat from the top of the tube. We responded by narrowing the rolls. They then told us it would be great to see, not just the top of the rolls, but also the sides before they bought it. So we introduced a plastic tube with a window on the side as well as the top. And just because people had expressed a desire to have soy sauce incorporated in the package, we surprised them by putting it in the handle! You can also look forward to further innovations from our team.”
Who are some of the people working to make this happen?
“Our team is passionate about the product, relentless in execution and detail oriented. All these qualities are helping us quickly innovate and open up the massive new market of portable sushi. I spend a lot of time on product development and intellectual property protection. In both areas we’ve drawn from the expertise of respected leaders in the field to create a high performance product that exceeds regulatory requirements and is tightly protected through international patent filings, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. President & Co-Founder, Lucas Furst, spends his time establishing partnerships and building relationships with sushi manufacturers around the world, servicing the needs of our clients that purchase sushi, as well as running our marketing division. Our Senior Product Manager & Executive Sushi Chef, Davin Waite, is constantly experimenting with novel types of Sushi Popper rolls and perfecting the way we manufacture and distribute the rolls. We have also worked closely with Taka Tanaka of Autec USA, to ensure that our Sushi Popper rolls are filled efficiently by Autec’s impressive automated equipment. Getting all this innovation packaged up and ready to eat for the consumer at the lowest possible price has been the work of our Chief Financial Officer, Jim Oliver.”
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.