WHITTIER, CA — Pop N Go Inc. and Shanghai Furong Industry Co. Ltd. (Shanghai, China) are in talks to explore the formation of a joint venture to market “Pop N Go” hot-air popcorn vending machines globally. The companies are also discussing the possibility of manufacturing the machines in the United States, at a new Arizona facility that Furong plans to open in 2009.
Furong, a major parts supplier to Pop N Go’s vending machine, is a 20-year-old company that produces and markets commercial refrigeration and foodservice equipment. An ISO 9000 company, it manufactures some 600 products that are sold in 30 countries. It maintains branch offices in Australia, Italy, Japan, Singapore and the UK.
“We have been supplying key components for Pop N Go machines for several years and are eager to introduce Pop N Go to our worldwide customer base, especially with the strong trend toward healthy snack consumption occurring globally,” said Furong general manager Frank Lu. “We believe our customers will eagerly accept this great concept.”
Pop N Go chief executive Mel Wyman added: “We are looking forward to this new marketing and manufacturing partnership which holds the promise of taking Pop N Go to the next level.”
The Pop N Go machine prepares and delivers a single-serve container of fresh hot popcorn in full view of the patron. It can vend approximately 100 servings between refills. Cooking time and temperature, and the butter dispenser, are fully programmable; a computerized auditing system maintains a detailed sales history. The machine has a 2 ft. x 2 ft. footprint for easy installation in a wide variety of locations. It can run as a standalone vender, or in manual mode for traditional foodservice applications.
Pop N Go Inc., based here, reported net income of $122,922 for the three months ended March 31, 2008, the largest quarterly profit in the company’s history. In the comparable quarter last year, it reported a loss of $706,802. The company said this year’s results represent an improvement in net profits of $829,724 over the prior year quarter.
In May, the company announced the renewal of its underlying utility patent on the machine. The patent, which will remain in force until 2018, provides the company with the right to exclude others from making, selling and importing popcorn vending machines using Pop N Go technology for the next 10 years. Wyman said the company plans to use its core technology to develop other machines.