Chapul before Shark Tank
Chapul is an energy bar company that has a unique ingredient inside every bar: crickets. It was founded by Pat Crowley and his friends with their original focus on helping the environment. Like many entrepreneurs in recent Shark Tank seasons, Pat started the funding for the company through a Kickstarter campaign. Although many Americans would question the idea of eating Crickets, Pat was able to successfully gain numerous followers because of the uniqueness in the product and the benefits in each bar in comparison to competitors such as additional protein. With their mission and originality, Chapul was able to get into numerous individual retailers before coming on Shark Tank and was growing at a rapid pace. Pat applied to be on Shark Tank hoping to get a Shark on their team to help with their growth and was invited for season five.
Chapul on Shark Tank
Pat entered the Tank seeking $50,000 for 5% of his company. Pat began his pitch by selling the uniqueness of his bar with the additional protein and then demonstrated how his bars get this protein: with crickets. This creeped the Sharks out for a moment, but Pat explained how half the countries already eat insects and his goal was to bring this view to America. He handed out his samples and, although hesitant, most of the Sharks took a bite which resulted in mixed reactions. Kevin brought up the obvious concern of how Pat would convince the U.S. market to eat crickets as it isn’t done in the current American culture. Pat gave an example of how thirty years ago, people in America didn’t eat raw fish, but the introduction of the California Role and a bit of time helped change that perspective. Kevin, however, was concerned with the huge time gap that transition took.
Mark was interested in the numbers and Pat mentioned he had $50,000 in sales in just under a year with a growth of 33% month over month. The bars sell for $2.99 and cost him $1.00 to make. Kevin was quickly questioning the $1,000,000 valuation and also brought up his common statement of why he couldn’t start his own business for less than $1,000,000 rather than investing as he assumed there was nothing proprietary about the bar. Pat, however, mentioned he was the only one selling cricket bars in the U.S. under the FDA which caught the Sharks attention. Barbara was wondering where Pat gets the crickets for his bars and Pat mentioned that he gets them from a “cricket ranch” as people have been raising crickets in America for other uses such as fishing bait which amused the Sharks.
Robert wanted to know more about the bar itself and Pat mentioned other bars would have half the protein as his Chapul bars and that the bars are made from the crickets after they are grinded up into flour. Although amused by the story, Robert couldn’t get over the original concern of eating crickets and went out. Kevin jumped in and started his unique approach of giving a story as to why the entrepreneur’s business is bad in his view; in this case, it was because crickets are considered lucky in other parts of the world. Feeling it would be bad karma to invest, Kevin went out. Barbara was actually impressed with the bars taste. She, however, felt the education process would take too long and that it would cost more money. Because of that, Barbara went out. Pat tried to sell his recent growth to the Sharks and how they have been actually trying to “fly under the radar.” Daymond, however, also couldn’t get over the idea of eating crickets and went out.
Mark was the first Shark to ask about the uniqueness of the flour Pat creates and if there was any competition. Pat mentioned there were other companies coming, but they didn’t’ have a product yet and those companies were asking him to sell the flour. Mark confirmed from the FDA perspective, Pat was the only one approved to make and sell the flour. Mark recommended Pat should sell the upcoming companies the flour, but with the contingency to sell it as “branded under Chapul flour” to build awareness for his company. With this idea and loving there was no current competition, Mark mentioned he was interested, but not for 5%. He wanted Pat to make him a new offer. After going over a couple other upcoming benefits in the company, Pat made a new offer of $50,000 for 10%, but Mark simply replied again with “make me an offer.” Pat countered again at 15% which got Mark thinking. However, after hearing Mark’s ideas and the uniqueness of the flour, Robert was interested again. He came back in and offered Pat the $50,000 for 20%. Pat took a moment to think about this offer, but before he could say anything, Mark said he would do it for the 15% which Pat agreed to. As Pat left, Mark mentioned he was aiming to get 20% and would eventually get Robert back for costing him 5%.
Chapul after Shark Tank – 2018 update
The deal with Mark closed after Shark Tank. Mark personally met with Pat at a store to help him sell the bars and attract new customers to the brand. The Shark Tank effect also has helped Pat as his company is very active in online media outlets. The company was able to grow their retail presence including getting their product into all Sprouts Farmers Markets. Pat and the other founders of Chapul have done a great job at introducing a totally new idea into the American market by both educating consumers on why the product is beneficial for them and getting the name and brand out to as many outlets as possible.
Where can I buy this product?
If you are interested in getting your hands on the Chapul Bars you can buy them on Amazon.com by clicking here. They offer a few different options but I personally gave the 3 bar sampler pack a try.
What do the reviews look like?
Most who have tried the bars mentioned they have loved the taste and the unique idea behind the bar. Most do not even question the fact that the bars have crickets inside them.