Where Is MUSH From Shark Tank Today?

With a company name like "MUSH," uninformed consumers may be left scratching their heads, trying to figure out what this product is. In this case, it's not the fried mush breakfast that's popular in the Midwest, nor is it exactly the same thing as Gordon Ramsay's must-try overnight oats, which are toasted. This item is more like the literal definition of the word "mush": something soft and spongy or shapeless. More specifically, MUSH is cold overnight oats packaged for convenient yet healthy consumption by customers.

The concept was born in 2015 by two friends working in the finance world, and circa 2017, its founders brought their quickly growing startup to pitch on "Shark Tank" Season 9, Episode 12. Ashley Thompson and Kat Thomas, the creators of MUSH, offered the show's judges 10% equity of their business in exchange for a $300,000 investment. The Sharks fought to score a deal, and ultimately, Mark Cuban won out over Barbara Corcoran and guest shark Rohan Oza. The final deal? $300,000 for 10% plus an unlimited credit line.

This wasn't the final time MUSH appeared on the show. In "Shark Tank" Season 11, Episode 2, MUSH was featured in an update segment, during which it was revealed Thomas had exited the company's day-to-day operations due to medical concerns. Thompson and Cuban, meanwhile, oversaw exponential growth in the wake of MUSH's televised pitch. The venture did $5 million in sales and spread across the country into retailers including Publix, ShopRite, and Walmart.

MUSH has seen continued success

In a trio of interviews from 2018 — taking place between MUSH's first and second "Shark Tank" appearances — the MUSH team recalled its past and looked to the future.

Speaking to San Diego Magazine, co-founder Kat Thomas explained the decision to pitch on the show at all, saying, "The biggest thing with 'Shark Tank' for us was, 'Is it the right fit?' The one thing we came back to is that we're about this broader vision" — to promote healthy eating with a variety of nutritious foods. MUSH's founders accepted Mark Cuban's deal because the investor truly wanted to work with dedicated people on a mission. In Thomas' words, "Mark got that big picture."

Cuban agreed, telling Forbes he loved the product, its savvy inventors, and their drive, preparation, and focus. As to whether MUSH would soon face competition, Cuban wasn't worried, declaring, "MUSH will be nimbler, continue to innovate, and stay in front."

Additionally, co-founder Ashley Thompson informed Food Navigator USA, "We not only want to be a grocery item, but we also want to play in food service." By late 2018, the product had made its way into coffee shops, fitness studios, office parks, and scholastic campuses. "It's a great brand builder for fresh brands when you can get into some of these little alternative places," Thompson noted. "It's a really unique opportunity to capture a customer that'll be super loyal."

MUSH did not go cold

Unlike its namesake product, MUSH is a hot commodity. "MUSHers," as Mark Cuban has dubbed them, can still purchase MUSH through the company's e-store, Amazon, and grocery stores including Jewel Osco, Sprouts, and Wegmans. Cuban is quoted on MUSH's website as proclaiming, "It's one of my favorite 'Shark Tank' companies of all time." MUSH is still included in the list of active Mark Cuban Companies. He's not alone as a celebrity endorsement, either. Noah Ohlsen, a professional CrossFit athlete, has claimed that he eats MUSH products daily.

In one last bit of recent news, co-founder Ashley Thompson did another interview with Forbes in 2021. She said "Shark Tank" was the perfect moment for MUSH to build audience awareness. Still, she noted, "People tend to forget that we are moving to a digital world, but it's not digital yet." As a result, "The physical world of retail is a lot more economical," which is why MUSH is focusing its efforts there nowadays, rather than online or broadcast mediums. Similarly, still at the forefront of MUSH's business goals are wellness and innovation.

Thompson had advice for other entrepreneurs, as well. She suggests preserving an open mind, elaborating, "A beginner's mindset thinks there's endless possibilities to solve problems." Even so, Thompson mentions, "My advice is to really refine your perspective to be more in line with reality," while still following your gut. Given how successful MUSH is, that's likely smart counsel.