“Shark Tank” is an Emmy Award winning TV series featuring a panel of established entrepreneurs. The panel is approached by other entrepreneurs that want to start, grow or save their businesses. The panelists decide whether or not they want to invest their own money into the business. And get this; a variety of the vegan businesses were featured!
Wink Frozen Desserts (Yum!)
Wink Frozen Desserts was the most recent vegan business featured on the show. Wink Frozen Desserts is a pea protein based ice cream substitute. It is coined the 100 calorie pint. Wink Frozen Desserts is vegan, non GMO, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, nut free, egg free, soy free and fat free. Therefore, the top eight food allergens are omitted from the choice of ingredients. Stevia and monk fruit are used instead of sugar to sweeten the product.
The CEO & creator of Wink, Gabe, was a chubby child who was an avid fan of ice cream. However, at age 17 he was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and developed food allergies. His dietary restrictions led him to create an ice cream alternative that everyone could enjoy. Wink Frozen Desserts comes in the following flavors: Cake Batter, Caramel Candy Apple, Choco Mint, Cinnamon Bun, Cookie Dough, Iced Latte, Black Cherry Cacao Nib, Strawberry Cheesecake, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Vanilla Bean.
Gabe and head of operations, Ani, approached the Shark Tank panel. They desired $300,000 for 15% equity in the company. Their sales amounted to $534,000 in three years. The product is available in 30 Whole Foods stores in the Northeastern United States. The panelists did not invest in the company because they did not like the flavors of the frozen treats. However, panelist Mark Cuban encouraged Gabe and Ani that they will find a niche.
The Lip Bar
A second vegan company featured on Shark Tank was The Lip Bar. The Lip Bar is a lipstick brand with products named after popular cocktails, wines and liquors. Such names include Purple Rain, Cosmo, Merlot, Bourbon, Kamikaze, Gin-ger and Tonic and more. The colors used are bold, fierce and vibrant. Neon purple, red, charcoal gray and teal are some of the colors featured in The Lip Bar merchandise. How much fun do these sound?
All Lip Bar lip products are paraben free, vegan, cruelty free and highly pigmented. Natural ingredients such as vitamin E, shea butter, jojoba oil and avocado oil are used. Therefore, the quality of Lip Bar products assure that lips will be moisturized, soft and stand out from other lipsticks and lip glosses.
Lip Bar founder Melissa Butler was inspired to create vibrant lip color products when she struggled to find bold yet flattering lip colors as a woman of color. Melissa and Creative Director Roscoe Speres, requested $125,000 in exchange for 20% equity of the brand. Their sales amounted to $126,000 in two years. Lip Bar products are available on their official website, Amazon.com, Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters. Lip Bar did not get a Shark Tank panelist to make an investment offer. Although panelist Lori Greiner liked the quality of the product sample, she and the other panelists were concerned with other competition in the cosmetic industry.
Do you hope to see these businesses grow? What impact did marketing, consumer products and/or business approaches supplement or influence your decision to go vegan? Share your stories below!