Where Is Pan's Mushroom Jerky From Shark Tank Today?

Jerky makes the list of healthy desk snacks to get you through the workday, but this seasoned dried meat is a forbidden food for vegans and vegetarians. While Healthline outlines some of the best vegan snack options, such as hummus and vegetables or popcorn with nutritional yeast, meat jerky has a texture component that may be hard to replicate when you follow a plant-based diet.

Luckily, one Washington-based entrepreneur was astounded after taking a trip to Malaysia to visit family when he stumbled upon a culturally rich snack he just had to share with the rest of the world. According to The Columbian, Michael Pan was inspired to recreate his family's vegetarian jerky after visiting distant relatives in the early 2000s. Although Pan started this new business on the side for the years following his trip, in 2016, circumstances in his business ventures awarded him the energy and space to open Panco Foods. He hoped to take significant strides in promoting his family's plant-based jerky recipe.

Deli Market News claims this plant-based jerky is made from shiitake mushrooms and contains no soy. The Columbian notes the product was made vegan in 2018 by replacing eggs with chia seeds. In 2018 the innovative product was already being sold in 200 mainstream retailers, including Marshalls. In 2020, Pan decided to take his chances in securing a deal with the "Shark Tank" investors.

What did the Sharks think of Pan's mushroom jerky?

Michael Pan didn't want to make a pitch to the "Shark Tank" investors until he felt sure his product could become a national sensation. The Guardian points to significant growth in people claiming to be following plant-based diets in 2020. Among the countless vegan recipes that will make you want to go plant-based, having pre-packaged options proves to be a much-welcomed convenience. The expanse of the vegan footprint gave Pan the confidence he needed to secure a deal on "Shark Tank."

Pan appeared on "Shark Tank" Season 12, Episode 6 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 (per IMDb). According to Shark Tank Recap, he made a pitch asking for $300,000 for 10% of his business. While Pan's product sales made well over $500,000 in 2019, his overall profit remained low. However, this didn't stop the high-profile investors from fighting to win a deal with the plant-based jerky founder (via YouTube). 

While Tom's shoe founder, Blake Mycoskie, and "Shark Tank" investor, Lori Greiner offered $300,000 for 30% of the Pan jerky business, Michael Pan ended up negotiating and securing a deal with Mark Cuban for $300,000 for 18% equity. Pan told The Food Institute that within days of his on-screen debut on the popular ABC show, Pan's Mushroom Jerky made approximately $1 million in sales. The company quickly worked to build an effective customer relations team to secure happy customers amidst growing sales.

Where is Pan's Mushroom Jerky now?

Michael Pan revealed to the New Hope Network that working with Mark Cuban has been a great asset to his jerky business. Not only does Cuban have extensive experience working with other companies specializing in consumer packaged goods, but the well-known investor and his team of professionals also took a heavy hand working to market this one of a kind plant-based snack.

According to Pan's Mushroom Jerky, the product is sold in more than 3,500 stores across the U.S., as well as on the Pan's website. This popular plant-based jerky is sold for $8 per 2.2-ounce pack and comes in eight different flavors, including teriyaki, applewood BBQ, and zesty Thai. 

Pan's Mushroom jerky continues to multiply in the retail sphere. Per a recent Instagram post, this satisfying plant-based product is now sold in various Whole Foods locations in the Northeast. Mark Cuban also posted a video on Instagram in August 2022 announcing the arrival of Pan's mushroom jerky in select H-E-B locations across the state of Texas.