A father-son duo from Mount Pleasant is looking to shake up the movie-going experience with their new invention.
Mid-Michigan Community College student and entrepreneur Justin Kovtiz, 22, along with his father, Ray, created the Shake N’ Share, a domed lid for 70 oz. popcorn buckets sold at cinema concession stands.
Made of BPA-free, recyclable plastic, the Shake N’ Share makes it easy for movie theater patrons to shake and evenly distribute toppings onto their popcorn.
“It helps you mix up the seasoning and butter throughout your popcorn,” Justin said. “You can also use the lid as a separate bowl.”
Last April, the Kovitz family officially launched the Shake N’ Share at the 2013 CinemaCon Trade Show in Las Vegas. Shortly after, the duo gave a presentation to Celebration Cinemas, resulting in the popular theater chain buying 80,000 units.
Encouraged by their initial success, the duo continued pitching the idea, making sales to numerous theater chains across the country. The Shake N’ Share can now be purchased at select theaters in more than 10 states, including Florida, Texas, Illinois, New York, Utah and California.
The company has sold more than 220,000 units in the last four months, and they expect to sell 1 million units by the end of the year. Justin said they are interested in branching out into other markets by selling their product to amusement parks and sports stadium vendors.
Where it all began
The idea for the Shake N’ Share came to Justin in May 2012. The younger Kovitz, a business administration major, decided to start the company and asked his father to be his business partner.
“I brought him on board because of his sales experience,” he said. “He thought it was a good idea, so we researched it and made sure there were no products like it on the market.”
After applying for patents on the invention, the father-son team made an arrangement with manufacturing company Display Pack in Grand Rapids to produce their invention.
The retail price for the Shake N’ Share at most theaters is 99 cents. Some theaters bundle the lids with the 70-oz. bucket and add the price to the popcorn.
Justin described himself as the “face of the company” and said he deals with marketing his invention, while Ray oversees the sales and production aspects of the company. Kovitz said he is currently working on other ideas for concession products, such as a Shake N’ Share kids meal popcorn bucket.
Mount Pleasant’s Celebration Cinema, 4935 E. Pickard Road, ordered 1,000 Shake N’ Share lids in July. Sales have been steady and repeat customers who have tried the Shake N’ Share often buy it every time they visit the theater, Greg Howell, operations manager for the Mount Pleasant Celebration Cinema, said.
“This is just the initial launch,” Howell said. “At this point, we see it as a viable product, and we’ll keep ordering them as long as they sell.”
After a year of hard work, Kovitz said the company is still in its early stages, but plans to expand the business further are in the works.