Genius Juice Before Shark Tank
There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of coconut juice to cool off on a summer afternoon. However, most coconut drinks on the market only offer coconut juice without the added coconut meat, which has many benefits to the human body. Furthermore, most coconut drinks on the market are high in calories and contain added sugars. That is why Alex Bayer came up with the idea to create a beverage containing a whole coconut; meat and all, which only has 100 calories.
Alex Bayer founded Genius Juice in January 2014. Genius Juice became the first organic beverage to contain whole coconuts as its main ingredient. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign in April 2015, which lasted 30 days. The campaign proved successful, raising $15,375 out of the original goal of $15,000. In 2016, the company faced difficulties with the distributors and co-packers, so it was forced to discontinue production. Alex tried to rebrand and relaunch the company, but it was unsuccessful.
Fortunately, Alex was able to partner with new a co-packer and manufacturer to help relaunch Genius Juice in 2017. Genius Juice’s relaunch was successful, and retailers started stocking the product on their shelves. Alex wanted to go one step further and go on Shark Tank to ensure the company doesn’t discontinue production again. Alex was hoping to partner with a shark willing to invest and help the company expand as it navigated the beverage market, making a name for itself as the only whole-coconut smoothie in the U.S.
Genius Juice on Shark Tank
Alex Bayer appeared on season 11 of Shark Tank to pitch his company, Genius Juice. He sang a jingle to the sharks to pitch his product before giving each shark a sample of Genius Juice. Alex explained to the sharks how Genius Juice is the only company that uses a whole coconut as its main ingredient. He gave the sharks a bottle of each flavor; Original coconut smoothie, Turmeric, and Coffee. He stated that each bottle contains a whole coconut and only has about 100 calories without any artificial ingredients or sugar added.
Alex claimed that each bottle is sold for $4.99-$5.99 and has a production cost of $1.87. He stated that the company’s manufacturing partner is in Thailand, just two miles off the coconut farm. The manufacturer sources the coconuts at their peak before juicing them, blending the meat, and bottling it. The beverage is then frozen and transported to its destination, where it is thawed and placed in a store’s refrigerator.
The sharks were concerned about the distribution process, as refrigeration space is highly competitive in stores. Alex claimed the company is partnered with two of the largest distributors in the country, and the product can be found in over 1,100 stores. Genius Juice made $367,000 in 2018 and $320,000 in the first half of 2019. Alex believes the company will triple the previous year’s sales because the company is launching in 400 new locations. He stated that stores have been reordering Genius Juice every week.
Kevin wanted to know how much the company would make if it had $1 million in annual sales. Alex answered that the company wouldn’t make anything until they met their breakeven point, which was $2.5 million. Kevin wanted to know more about the $3.5 million valuation, to which Alex said the company projected $6.5 million the following year. He said the $250,000 he was asking for was to get to a Series A raise.
Alex has raised $1.3 million for the business, $150,000 of which was his own. He stated that he only owned 87% of the business. He ran into trouble with a co-packer in 2016. Alex said that the co-packer was up-charging the company, forcing them to change locations, and generally being abusive, so Genius Juice left them and stopped production. They eventually got help from their manufacturer, and Genius Juice was back in stores by late 2017. The manufacturer currently owns 3%-4% of the company.
Lori Greiner liked the packaging and idea but didn’t want to risk investing in the beverage industry, so she was out.
Rohan Oza also liked the product, but he thought the refrigeration requirement was too risky; he believed a shelf-stable product would prove much more successful, so he was out.
Barbara Corcoran had already invested in a beverage company which went south causing her to lose a lot of money, so she swore never to invest in a beverage company again. However, she was intrigued by the taste and low calories in the product. She offered $250,000 for 14%; double the equity Alex had been willing to give away.
Mark Cuban was interested in the product, but he claimed he wasn’t planning on offering more than Barbara was, so he was out.
Kevin O’Leary thought the product was great, but he believed the company would need more money, so his investment would be diluted. He offered $250,000 as a loan with 9% interest for three years and wanted 7% equity.
Alex countered Barbara’s offer, suggesting $250,000 for 11%.
Mark Cuban wanted back in on the deal, so he and Barbara made another counter offer together: $500,000 for 25% of the company. Alex agreed.
Genius Juice left the shark tank with a generous offer of $500,000 for 25% of the company. Alex believed Mark and Barbara were the perfect partners to make his company widely successful.
Genius Juice Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Alex Bayer dropped the deal with Mark and Barbara because he believed he had a better chance of raising money for Genius Juice. After his appearance on Shark Tank, Alex set up a WeFunder page which went live immediately after the episode aired. After the episode aired, Genius Juice made $120,000 in online sales in under 24 hours. The WeFunder campaign lasted three months and raised $476,835.
Genius Juice reported $1.6 million in sales in the first half of 2020, a massive increase since the previous years. The company was in over 2,500 major retail stores across the U.S., such as Walmart, Whole foods, and Target. Genius Juice released two new flavors in 2020: Vanilla and cinnamon coconut smoothie, and chocolate coconut smoothie.
In 2021, Genius Juice made its way into Costco and other stores, expanding its locations once more. The company also had a fundraiser on Republic, raising $1,075,856 from 2055 investors. By the end of 2021, Genius Juice had already raised $2,523,305.
The company is doing extremely well and didn’t need the help of Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran. Genius Juice reported $12 million in annual revenue in July 2023. With the rate Genius juice is expanding, we can expect it to be one of the major organic beverages in the market. You can find out more information and updates on Genius juice here.