Here's What Happened To Misfit Foods After Shark Tank

While the term "misfit" might denote a person who doesn't comfortably fit into a situation, Misfit Foods still looked to take a dip into the "Shark Tank" and survive its swim. The brand's founder, Phil Wong, appeared on Season 12, Episode 17 of the popular ABC show. And the idea behind Misfit Foods was simple: Most people know eating veggies is beneficial, but adapting to a fully vegetarian lifestyle is not always easy. So, a sausage that is half-vegetable and half-meat provides a nice compromise.

During his pitch, Wong asked for $250,000, offering up 5% equity of his company. The cunning Sharks questioned this valuation, but there was clearly something cooking in the kitchen, and it seemed the judges were hungry enough to make a deal. Kevin O'Leary believed profitability was lacking for this product, and Robert Herjavec dropped out because the brand didn't fit his vegetarian lifestyle, but other Sharks bit at the chance to put some of these sausages on their plates. 

Wong ultimately found success before his presentation ended. Lori Greiner made an offer, but Mark Cuban and Guest Shark Daniel Lubetzky didn't want to be left out of this tasty conversation. So, Cuban and Lubetzky partnered on a deal, which Wong countered, and the three businessmen eventually agreed to $300,000 for 15% equity. Misfit Foods was seemingly well on its way to plumping up sausage-lovers' vegetable intake. So, what's happened in the years since?

How did Misfit Foods fare after Shark Tank?

Some people accept the idea of eating leafy greens and other colorful vegetables, but a substantial number are still going to satisfy their carnivore cravings. When Misfit Foods pitched its half-vegetable, half-meat sausages on "Shark Tank," the company sought to be the best of both worlds and, after receiving a deal on the show, the company appeared poised for success. However, the business chose to pivot through a rebrand, and now, Phil's Finest is hoping to cook up even more flavorful conversation among hungry omnivores. Although it's unclear exactly why the name changed, the new moniker does avoid confusion with another imperfect vegetable brand.

Phil's Finest believes in a less-meat discussion, not a meat-less one. Adding more veggies combined with humanely-raised chicken and grass-fed, grass-finished beef results in products that are flavorful, versatile, and enjoyed by a wide range of consumers. Since its "Shark Tank" deal, the brand's LinkedIn page touts that it was selected as a Chobani Food Incubator, participated in The Food Foundry, and has been featured in numerous best-of lists. Now, the line of sausages is even available at Sprouts, Whole Foods, and more.

Phil's Finest believes its success is measured in one element

Many companies head into "Shark Tank" hoping to become the next Cousins Maine Lobster, Tipsy Elves, or even Squatty Potty. Indeed, the series has seen a variety of both failed and funded food pitches since it began airing in 2009. The reality, though, is that earning a deal on the show doesn't guarantee victory. Unfortunately, the scales are often tipped more toward out-of-business disaster than overnight success.

For Phil's Finest, formerly Misfit Foods, founders Phil Wong and Ann Yang told Georgetown Entrepreneurship that the company's growth and success come from "making customers the center of [their] business." While the two confirmed the business' appearance on "Shark Tank" gave a boost to sales, they also claimed their continued efforts to fill a void and deliver a quality product have earned them a reliably loyal customer base.

The brand continues to educate and entice people to a "less-meat" mantra, expanding its lineup to give consumers what they crave. Even if people are unwilling to embrace a totally vegetarian lifestyle, the flavorful, adaptable, vegetable-forward items — such as the brand's Korean BBQ Beet Ground Beef or its Smoked Cauli Chicken Bratwurst — typically don't leave folks feeling like the choice was a compromise. The brand started with a name that didn't conform to traditional choices, and Phil's Finest continuously strives to elevate a food conversation that is both tasty and forward-thinking.