ABC’s Shark Tank is one of its most popular programs, with five seasons under its belt, and it gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their products and business ideas to some of the country’s most successful and admired investors, including Mark Cuban. Here are five Shark Tank products that absolutely killed it.
Mr. Tod's Pie Factory
Tod Wilson, from Somerset, N.J., went on Shark Tank to pitch his homemade pie company. The pies are made with only the finest ingredients, spices, and butters, with his four-inch sweet potato pie being the main seller. Wilson's goal was to take his company and launch it into a household brand. While on the show, he pitched his company and asked for $460,000 for a 10 percent stake in the business. "Sharks" Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John invested for the full amount but in turn asked for 50 percent of the company. Since making the deal, Wilson tripled his business, opened a new retail location, and sold tens of thousands of pies on QVC.
Granola Gourmet was founded by Jeff Cohen, a diabetic who was frustrated with the lack of tasty snacks that wouldn’t spike his blood sugar. He launched his own company to sell 100-percent natural, low-glycemic energy bars marketed toward families. While on Shark Tank, he asked for $175,000 for a 25 percent stake but was turned down by the panel of investors. Prior to the airing of the show, the energy bars were located in 35 stores nationwide. Today, the product is booming and is in more than 600 stores including Safeway, Vons, and Whole Foods Market, as well as Amazon.com. The sharks must be kicking themselves now.
Chicago native Jonathan Miller started Element Bars, which creates custom energy bars catered to the taste of the consumer ordering it. At the time Miller went on the show, the business was shipping 1,000 bars per week, but was looking to take his business to the next level. He asked for $150,000 in return for a 15 percent stake, but struck a deal with Kevin Harrington for a 30 percent stake in the business. Since the investment, the company is booming, and Miller has moved into his own facility, having previously worked out of a small wedding cake bakery. Element Bars is projected to sell 1 million bars by the end of the year.
Pork Barrel BBQ
Pork Barrel BBQ was created by Heath Hall and Brett Thompson from Washington, D.C. The all-American barbecue sauce and rub company went on Shark Tank asking for $50,000 for a 10 percent stake. Investor Barbara Corcoran decided she was interested but renegotiated for a 50 percent stake. Since the airing of the show, the company opened its own Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant and currently has their products in roughly 3,000 stores in more than 40 states with more than $1 million in sales.
Leslie Haywood of Charleston, S.C., invented Grill Charms, stainless steel identifying charms that you stick in your food before you put it on the grill. During the grilling process, one can identify if the meat was medium, rare, well-done, and so on. Haywood was seeking a $50,000 investment in exchange for a 25 percent stake in the company and worked out a deal with Robert Herjavec for what she asked for. Since the investment, Grill Charms sales have increased more than 5,000 percent and have made it onto the shelves of Ontario Gas & BBQ, the largest BBQ store in the world.