Entrepreneur Brings International Health Sensation to America: Plans to Revolutionize Snacking Corn in a Cup Concept, Cup It, Eyes Aggressive American Growth Strategy

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Cup It, the first concept of its kind to offer a cost-conscience healthy alternative to typical fast-food fare by introducing portion controlled food servings in a cup.

With more than 3,000 international locations, Malaysian corn in a cup kiosks have become quite popular in Turkey, Germany, England, and the Netherlands

Your favorite mealtime side dishes aren't just for dinner anymore. Now, you can snack on a cup of corn, potatoes, or waffles and fruit at Cup It, a four-unit franchise focused on revamping American’s fast-food snack options, especially while mall shopping.

Founded by Mete Oguz, a 34-year-old life-long Turkish entrepreneur who built international success by creating an industrial machinery import company in Turkey before moving to the States, Cup It, the first concept of its kind to offer a cost-conscience healthy alternative to typical fast-food fare by introducing portion controlled food servings in a cup.

"With more than 3,000 international locations, Malaysian corn in a cup kiosks have become quite popular in Turkey, Germany, England, and the Netherlands " he said. "I know Americans will love our products because we serve their favorite fresh, healthy foods in a reasonably portioned cup."

Cup It serves four products: Corn in a Cup is made of steamed Malaysian corn- known for being sweeter and juicer than corn from other places- topped with your choice of cheeses, butter, mayonnaise and spices. Cup It's next product, Potatoes in a Cup, uses the company's original, patent-pending mashing machine to grind up the spuds. The Pot-a-Corn is a combination of items one and two; and the final product, Waffle in a Cup consists of a freshly baked waffle topped with fruit and Nutella hazelnut spread.

For the Corn in a Cup product, Oguz has been adamant on educating Americans on the true health value of corn. Venture to a grocery store and purchase all types of canned or frozen corn and one major similarity exists among all options: The corn is machine ripped off the ear. The tearing of the root virtually eliminates all health value of corn; whereas the Malaysian corn is removed, by hand, from the ear, keeping the root maintained along with all of the nutrients.

“Even corn that is labeled as whole kernel in U.S. grocery markets is removed by machine. The difference is amazing, as is the flavor and nutrients from the corn we import,” he said, noting that all corn is purchased 90 days in advance because it is hand manufactured.

Additionally, in February, Cup It will begin serving a new product, Grilled Cheese In A Cup, with your choice of three types of bread and four cheeses, along with another new menu item, Meatballs In A Cup and Belgian Waffle . All cups are under $5.

“The landscape is limitless for us as a brand and our product line is limitless because imagine the possibilities of what can go in a cup,” Oguz said.

Launched in the U.S. in April of 2009, Cup It currently has four locations in the New York metropolitan area, and it's now ready to expand. The company is currently offering franchising and licensing agreements. New franchisees should expect to spend between $50,000 and $80,000 on their initial investment, including a $15,000 initial franchise fee, plus the cost of equipment, supplies, and marketing for a kiosk. Additionally, Cup It has launched a cart option more for outdoor venues, with initial fees ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. Existing food service establishments can license the right to sell Cup It products for as little as $5,000 including a $2,500 licensing fee, plus a $2,500 inventory investment.

“The low cost of investment has positioned us very well for steady American growth,” Oguz said. “Our high-tech, top-of-the-line kiosk designs cost far less than any other mall restaurant concept. This provides scalability for our franchisees in that they can quickly own multiple locations over a little time period, thus helping them reach their goals of becoming a multi-unit operator.”

Oguz said that while Cup It has had phenomenal success and is extremely popular, even the first location in Garden State Plaza Mall, among customers, the big challenge is introducing the alternative to pretzels, pizza and ice cream to the public.

“We are focused on creating a strong initial footprint so that we can influence Americans into healthier snacking options,” he said. “Throughout 2010, we plan on opening 20 total locations. This will provide us with a staple for propelling the brand westward in 2011.”

According to Oguz, owning a Cup It franchise requires no skill or experience, just a strong work ethic. "The ideal Cup It franchise would be a family-owned establishment. Our concept is a perfect fit for mall food courts, stadiums, amusement parks, and boardwalks."

ABOUT CUP IT
Cup It, a four-unit snack in a cup franchise, is proud to be the first and only company to market “Corn in a Cup” and “Waffle in a Cup” in America. This introduction is the culmination of two years of development. Corn and Potato foods are widely known and consumed. Cup It foods are specially prepared snacks served in cups with its signature blend of sauces and spices. This new trend in snack food has expanded rapidly internationally in more than 20 countries Cup It’s franchise concept is based on small point of sale kiosks located in shopping centers, amusement parks, exhibition centers, theaters, stadiums, and grocery stores, with plans to reach 20 locations by the end of 2010. For more information on Cup It, visit http://www.cupitfood.com.

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Lois Krolikowski
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