Must Love Vegan Ice Cream Before Shark Tank
Must Love is a vegan ice cream company that uses fruits and oats, rather than sugar and unhealthy ingredients, to make a healthy option for ice cream. Instead of filling their ice cream with sugar and sweeteners, the founders use natural fruit as the sweetener, hence why they refer to it as “nice cream”. Their ice cream is also the perfect alternative for those who are lactose intolerant! The ingredients are all plant-based and they only contain ingredients such as bananas, oat milk, coconut, dates, and banana base. Must Love offers their ice cream is two different forms: ice cream bars and ice cream pints. Each pint is sold for $12, while a pack of four bars also sells for $12. Additionally, the pints come in flavors like Choco Choco Chip, Vanilla Banilla, Double Chocolate Chip, and Cashew Cookie, while the bars come in flavors like Chocolate, Crunchy Peanut Swirl, and Vanilla Banilla.
The founders behind Must Love Vegan Ice Cream are a team of entrepreneurial best friends, Hannah Hong and Mollie Cha. Hannah and Mollie both attended the University of California, Berkeley. Hannah graduated from college with her bachelor’s degree in Science in Business Administration before going on to work at Mercer as an analyst and associate. In 2011, she went back to school; she attended the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She finished her MBA here before becoming a Senior Associate with PwC Consulting. Her last job before getting into the Must Love business was at Bolthouse Farms, where she was a Brand Strategy Manager and an Associate Brand Manager.
Mollie also graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and gained her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. After graduating college, she went on to work for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as Goldman Sachs. In 2013, Mollie returned to school and attended MIT Sloan School of Management to complete her master’s degree in Business Administration. She graduated in 2015 and got a job at Bolthouse Farms as well, though she worked in the Strategy and Innovation department. In 2018, Mollie was offered a golden opportunity to become the Principal of the Malibu Design Group.
In 2016, Hannah and Mollie founded Must Love. Mollie ended up quitting her position with the Malibu Design Group to work a full-time job with their new business. Hannah followed behind shortly after. The friends got the idea for this business venture when they were in their 20’s. Despite having a love for sweet treats, they both learned that they were lactose intolerant. Not wanting to give up on sweets entirely, Mollie decided to make herself an alternative dessert one night. She pureed frozen bananas with some almond milk in the blender. Once they tasted this “nice cream”, they immediately knew that it would change their lives, as well as others who are lactose intolerant. They got to work on the flavor profile, working to perfect the recipe and consistency of the “nice cream”. Finally, after their husbands had to taste multiple bowls of this treat, Hannah and Mollie found the perfect recipe. Thus, creating Must Love Vegan Ice Cream.
Not long after launching Must Love, Hannah and Mollie had already gotten their ice cream on the shelves in Winn Dixie, Sprouts, and a few more stores across the southeast. They launched a vegan topping option of plant-based sprinkles and met a goal of $5 million in their lifetime sales prior to their time on Shark Tank. Nonetheless, Hannah and Mollie want to see their “nice cream” on the shelves of many more stores across the world. Given that, they’ll appear on Shark Tank in hopes of getting a sharks investment and guidance.
Must Love Vegan Ice Cream on Shark Tank
Hannah Hong and Mollie Cha attend their Shark Tank visit seeking an offer of $600,000 for a 7.5% stake in their company, Must Love Vegan Ice Cream. The begin their pitch with a discussion about how unhealthy regular ice cream is and how bad the ingredients are for people. This eventually segways into Hannah and Mollie revealing their business idea for plant-based “nice cream”. They tell the sharks about themselves and their ice cream, including mentioning the healthy ingredients they use. They also mention their newly launched sprinkles. This is when the sharks can taste the sweet treats, which they all appear to love. Especially Lori Greiner.
Next, Hannah and Mollie disclose their sales. They explain that they did $35,000 in sales throughout 2017, a year after their launch. They then mention that their sales have been doubling that each year, leading them to a $1.7 million annual revenue. Must Love ice cream costs them $1.80 to make, while a single pint or a case of four bars sells for $12. When they started their business, each of them put forth $200,000 in addition to the $1.4 million that was raised for them. Overall, at the time of the episode airing, Must Love had a valuation of $8 million.
Nonetheless, the entrepreneurs did lose $400,000 within this time frame, which they explain was due to them having to use the money towards shelving space in stores like Costco, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and more.
Almost immediately, the sharks had questions regarding their valuation, given that it was so high already. They also had some concerns about the $400,000 that was lost. Mark Cuban stepped up to speak first. He voiced his concerns and asked the founders if they were prepared to start negotiations. Daymond John is the first shark to leave, after stating that the founders were not respecting the sharks. Kevin O’Leary follows behind as he does isn’t okay with the deal they’re asking for. Guest shark, Peter Jones, mentions that he has been in an investment like this one. He didn’t like it due to the competition in the industry and how the margins continued to fluctuate downwards. Therefore, he will not be investing either.
Although Mark asked the founders if they were ready to negotiate, he drops out of the deal as well. He doesn’t think it’s unique enough; he believes he has seen similar businesses out there. At this point, Lori Greiner was the only shark remaining. Fortunately, Lori knows this industry quite well and she believes that Hannah and Mollie could be on their way to doing $20 million in sales; however, she has already invested in Frozen Farmer. Given that, she cannot invest. Ultimately, Must Love Vegan Ice Cream left Shark Tank without a deal.
Must Love Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Although Hannah Hong and Mollie Cha left Shark Tank without a deal, Must Love Vegan Ice Cream is still in business; however, their most recent sales and revenue has not been disclosed as of 2023. While there isn’t too much of an update on this business, they have been successful in being featured throughout a multitude of platforms and publications. This publicity has certainly provided the business with more online presence and a boost in sales. Their ice creams and sprinkles can be found and purchased on the Must Love website, as well as in some Sprouts, Costco, and Winn Dixie locations. Overall, Must Love Vegan Ice Cream has been a success and is likely to continue to grow in the future.