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Can The Candwich Make Dough for Its Inventor?

Jul 20, 2010 – 9:25 AM
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David Moye

David Moye Contributor

(July 20) -- The Fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, reportedly inspired the name of one of the world's most popular foods in the late 1700s. In the early 1800s, Napoleon Bonaparte helped fund the invention of canned foods as a long-term food preservative.

So isn't it strange that it took 200 years before a man in Salt Lake City thought about putting sandwiches in cans?

Mark Kirkland thinks so. But instead of complaining, he's capitalizing by creating something called the "Candwich," which, like it sounds, is a sandwich in a can.
Packaging for the Candwich is seen with a spread of the contents, a bun, packets of peanut butter and jelly, and some taffy.
Courtesy Mark Kirkland
Mark Kirkland hopes to make lots of dough by selling sandwiches in cans.

"Basically, you put a sandwich into a container that can fit into an existing vending machine," said Kirkland, who has spent the last 10 years trying to make dough from the idea.

Finally, he is about to see his concept come to fruition, thanks to the development of shelf-stable bread that stays fresh for at least a year.

Kirkland first got the thought for food while having some food for thought.

"I was having a can of soda and eating a cookie when I realized that I could package the cookies into a can and sell them in the same vending machine as the soda," he said.

The Candwich is expected to hit the market next month in vending machines and convenience stores in San Diego and southern Texas.

It will come in a 24-ounce can that contains a complete sandwich on a bun. In some cases, such as the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the fixings come separately to be assembled by the customer. In others, such as the pepperoni pocket, the filling is baked into the bread -- which he says was the thing that sold him.

"I was skeptical until I tried the bread," he said. "That's what got me."

Since the price point will be around $2 to $3 per sandwich, Kirkland figures to make a lot of bread -- especially since it caters to certain demographics.

"Nearly 15 percent of Americans are too busy to eat during lunch," Kirkland said. "Also, I figure this product will be in demand for disaster relief. I wish I had 100 million cans after the earthquake in Haiti.

At first, the Candwich will be sold in San Diego and the Gulf Coast region of the United States.

"It's getting a lot of interest there because it's hurricane territory and it's something that can keep in all kinds of weather," Kirkland said. "You can eat it right out of the can, but I know people who will take the BBQ chicken can, put it on their car dashboard and let the sun heat it up."

Although no one is going to confuse sandwiches, canned or otherwise, as healthful, Kirkland insists the nutritional profile is pretty sound -- provided you don't eat the actual can, of course.

"The peanut butter is high in protein and the chicken is lean breast meat and there are no trans fats."

So far, the response to the Candwich has varied from "I can't believe they made that" to "I can't believe they made it -- where can I get one?" Kirkland admits he will get a certain amount of sales just from curiosity.

"Most people will try it for the novelty," he said. "And if they like it, they'll come back. I look it at it like bottled water. When that first came out, I thought 'Why would I pay a buck for a glass of water when there's a drinking fountain over there?' But now I have a bottle of water every day."
Filed under: Money, Weird News
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