Monday, March 4, 2024

Fresh Bellies 2024 Update – What Happened After Shark Tank

Fresh Bellies Before Shark Tank

Fresh Bellies was created by Saskia Sorrosa. As a mother, she wanted to treat her children to the kinds of foods and flavors that she grew up eating in her native Ecuador. However, she couldn’t find anything that met her needs in local supermarkets; even the foods that were marketed as “healthy” were full of “junk” and additives.

So she sought to create her own from scratch. Thus, Fresh Bellies was born.

Unlike other commercial baby foods, her line of baby food doesn’t use sugar to mask flavors nor does it blend fruits with veggies. Rather, their goal is to introduce young kids to unsweetened vegetables to make them less likely to become picky.

Some of their flavors include cauliflower, beet, and broccoli, many of which are seasoned with onions, garlic, spices, and herbs, to mimic food that they will eat when they’re older. Not only that but they also have pear and apple-flavored baby foods, though they don’t contain any extra sugars or juice.

Having perfected the baby foods, she began selling them at local farmers’ markets in Westchester. New York. A huge hit, the product eventually landed a distribution deal in Connecticut.

Wanting to take the company to the next level, she decided to audition for Shark Tank. And after several auditions and calls, she was told that Fresh Bellies would be featured in the tenth season, which would air in 2019.

Fresh Bellies on Shark Tank

Saskia walks into the tank and introduces herself as the founder and “real flavor officer” of Fresh Bellies, which is based in Westchester, New York. She tells the sharks that she’s seeking $275,000 in exchange for 5 percent of her company.

Launching her pitch, she explains that Fresh Bellies is a new baby food company that sets kids up to be “healthy, adventurous eaters for life”. Continuing, she says every baby food on the market is loaded with sugar. To demonstrate her point, she takes out a bag of sugar and pours it into a bowl. She also says the products are loaded with fruit sugars to mask the real taste of veggies.

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Saskla tells the sharks about her company, Fresh Bellies, which offers healthy refrigerated food for babies and toddlers

Pushing the fruits to the side, she points out that commercial baby foods train babies to crave sugar.

With that, she unveils her line of baby food, Fresh Bellies, which she emphasizes, never masks real flavors with sugars. She tells the sharks that their products are seasoned with herbs and spices instead, which garners reactions from Mark and Kevin. Seconds later, she pulls out a tray of fruits and vegetables and sets it on the counter. She also adds that each of their baby foods is put together by professional chefs.

As the camera zooms in on her line of baby food, she asks which of the sharks are interested in investing in her company.

With that out of the way, Saskla invites the sharks to try some of their samples. Walking over to the sharks, she hands each of them a plate, which contains an assortment of flavors. Robert takes the opportunity to put a bib around his neck.

Before long, everyone is trying the baby foods. As they’re doing that, Saskla is explaining the different flavors. Lori is quick to note that the foods contain a lot of garlic. However, Robert is impressed with the flavor and says that it tastes “very good.”

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Robert enthusiastically tries the baby food while wearing his Fresh Bellies bib

Robert asks if they’re trying to introduce babies to fruits and vegetables so that they won’t get accustomed to sugar. Saskla agrees and says they’re trying to get babies used to savory flavors. Continuing, she says that babies have a flavor window when they’re between four and seven months, which is when they’re the most receptive to different flavors as humans. She points out, however, that the majority of parents are feeding their babies sugar during that period.

Mark asks her about her background. Saskla says she worked at the NBA for 11 years, which surprises the shark. He asks her who she worked for. She tells him she worked for the VP of marketing.

Robert is curious how she came up with the formulation for the baby foods. Saskla explains that she originally made the food for her daughter but that when she decided to bring it to the market, she hired an executive chef, who makes all of the baby foods in a commercial kitchen.

Robert asks about their sales. Saskla says they’ve been in business for six months and have done $100,000 worth of sales so far. Continuing, she says they’ll be at $570,000 by the end of the year.

Robert praises the product’s packaging and mentions that she’s probably spent a lot of money on the company. Saskla tells him that they’ve raised $1.6 million to date. Asked about their valuation, she reveals their company has been valued at $7 million.

Kevin is impressed and praises her marketing skills.

Guest shark Charles Barkley asks about the product’s costs. Before answering the question, however, she mentions that the baby foods are refrigerated and preservative-free. The sharks aren’t too excited as that means they have to fight for refridgerated space at grocery stores.

Saskla tells him their baby foods are so innovative that retailers are eager to stock their products. She also emphasizes that there are no listing or stocking fees.

Charles once again asks about the product’s pricing. Saskla tells him the pouches cost $1.99 to make and they retail for $3.59. He asks if their goal is to try and train babies to eat better. Saskla says yes; that part of their mission is to combat childhood obesity.

Mark mentions that the majority of obesity cases happen with low income families and points out that their baby food is a premium product.

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Kevin tells Saskla he is not a fan of her $5 million valuation as they barely have any sales

Robert is confused about their $7 million valuation as they’ve valued their company at $5 million with what they’re asking for today. Saskla stutters and says it’s because they understand the value of getting a shark on board. Continuing, she explains that they actually got their shareholders to approve the decision. Mark commends her for her efforts.

Kevin expresses that the biggest issue with the product is that they need space in the refrigerated section. Saskla disagrees and tells him they will be able to get the baby foods into stores, no problem. Kevin asks how they will be able to do that. Saskla defends this by saying that stores want innovation, which means that they will want their product.

Kevin goes on to point out another problem; that their baby foods, which contain garlic and other spices, can give babies bad breath. The rest of the sharks burst into laughter.

Charles agrees that obesity is a big problem in the community. However, he states that as a black man, he doesn’t feel that his people will be able to afford the product.

Saskla emphasizes that they want to make good food accessible to everyone; that their plan is to lower the prices once they begin to scale the business.

Robert believes that palate training will be an uphill battle and that they will need a lot more money- millions of dollars- even to reach the break-even point. Noting that it’s not for him, he goes out.

Saskla agrees that it’ll be an uphill battle and feels that they will be able to accomplish the goal. Robert also points out that people are unwilling to change.

Charles agrees that childhood obesity is a big problem but doesn’t think refrigerated baby food is the solution. He also goes out. Saskla thanks him for his time.

Lori states that while she liked a few of the flavors, she felt that some were too strong. She tells Saskla that their flavor profile might still need a bit more work and also drops out.

While Mark believes that doing the right thing in business will always pay off, he is concerned about their battle ahead and notes that they may have to raise hundreds of millions of dollars more to get where they want to go. He says it’s an even bigger battle than what she’s presented to them, but he also goes out.

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Both Lori and Robert goes out

Kevin, the only shark remaining, says she’s “a very impressive executive” and is impressed with how she nailed the numbers. However, he says he’s not a fan of her valuation, considering the fact that they barely have any sales. Saying that they, as a business, still have a mountain to climb, he also goes out.

The rest of the sharks wish her the best of luck as she walks out of the tank.

Despite the obvious challenges ahead, Saskla remains optimistic about the business’s future in the exit interview.

Fresh Bellies Now in 2024 – The After Shark Tank Update

While they didn’t land a deal with the sharks, being in the tank gave them a massive amount of exposure, which helped spread the word about their business. For one thing, their website saw a huge increase in traffic after the episode aired. Not only that but purchases also went up.

With every rerun, they also see a boost in online sales, social media engagement, and inbound email. According to Saskla, many of their customers actually recognize them from the show, which is why they seek out their product. Not only that but they were also featured in a number of publications including the New York Times.

The same year the episode aired, they also introduced a line of shelf-stable snacks for toddlers called Groovie Puffs, a type of sorghum-based snack. At the time, they also said they planned on introducing an adult version of the Groovies with more spices.

Fast forward to January and Fresh Bellies products are available in more than 9,000 stores across the U.S. including Wal-Mart and Kroger. At one point, their snacks were also sold on Amazon. In fact, they received many positive reviews, with many customers praising them for their taste and convenience. Not only that but several users have praised the products for being high quality. They also like giving them to their kids guilt-free as they’re healthy and not loaded with sugars.

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Fresh Bellies Toddler snacks were well received on Amazon with a 4.3-star rating out of 328 reviews

However, some people felt the pieces were too small, making them a bit messy to eat. Others were not a fan of the taste altogether. Nevertheless, the general consensus was positive. Take their toddler snacks, for example, they had a 4.3-star rating out of more than 300 reviews. As far as we can tell, however, they haven’t been available on Amazon for a while. Nowadays, you can only get them from their website and from various retailers across the U.S.

Currently, they sell three types of products: family snacks, preschool snacks, and toddler snacks. Their family snacks are the previously mentioned Groovie Puffs, which they’ve since released an adult version of.

These Groovie Puffs (both the adult and kid versions) are available in four flavors; Brock N’ Roll, Rosemary Carrot, Shroomtastic, and Turn Up the Beet, all of which are $11.99 a pack. As for their toddler snacks, the same flavors that were featured on the show are still available, including strawberry, mango, pineapple, peas, apples, and peppers.

For those who are interested, you can check out their official website at freshbellies.com. They also offer wholesale orders for retailers.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.
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