RollinGreens Before Shark Tank
Meat has been a staple of many people’s diets since time immemorial. It’s not only tasty but the best source of protein that we know. However, not everyone is for meat and they are constantly looking for alternatives to it.
Some people avoid meat for humane reasons such as to avoid hurting animals and it has been the most important reason why vegetarian and vegan meals are increasing in popularity. Ryan Cunningham and his wife, Lindsey Cunningham, wanted to introduce tasty vegan alternatives to meat to the public. People would no longer have to deal with healthy but unsavory meals.
Ryan and Lindsey succeeded in this when they started the RollinGreens Company. RollingGreens offered a variety of healthy plant-based meals. The Rolling Greens Company sold Tots made out of millet. These tots came in a variety of flavors including cauliflower and chicken wings.
The RollinGreens company had started as a food truck but it had expanded to having shelf space in retail stores. However, they needed capital to expand further. They were curious whether a Shark Tank investor would be interested in doing business with them so they appealed to be on the show. Their request was approved and they were featured in episode 24 of season 11.
RollinGreens on Shark Tank
When Ryan and Lindsey Cunningham went onto the show they sought $500,000 for 10% of their business giving it a valuation of $5,000,000. They first gave the sharks their presentation showing them the way their vegetable meals could serve as alternatives to meat. They then gave the sharks samples of the meals to taste.
The sharks were given six samples made into tots to taste. Lindsey had the tots dipped in ketchup and she said that they never got soggy and that they were always crispy. Lori thought that the sauces tasted great. She said that the samples that she had given the sharks had been created back when they were driving a food truck.
She then explained that they had driven the food truck for about five and a half years. She then said that the millet tots were their best-selling appetizer when they operated the food truck. They also launched the only non-potato whole grain tot in the market. Kevin thought that all their meals were delicious. Robert then asked them what their meals cost to make.
Lindsey said that the millet tots retailed at $4.99. They also had some wings that they had launched 4 weeks before and those had a retail price of $6.99. Their wings were literally flying off the shelves. Robert then asked her what it cost to make them. Lindsey said they cost about $1.70 to make and had a wholesale price of $3.11.
Robert then asked what their sales of the millet tots over the past year had been. They had a wide variety of millet tots but their best-selling variety was the OG tots. They had realized $320,000 in sales in the previous year from that one variety. Daniel Lubetzky then asked them what their sales for that year were.
Lindsey said that she expected to end the year with $700,000 in sales. Mark was curious as to why they would experience such a drastic increase in their sales. Lindsey said that they had just launched their product in Super Targets all over the country. They were also in Kruger which was their biggest source of retail sales.
Kevin then asked what their 2018 top-line profit/ loss was. Lindsey said that in 2018 they made a profit of $320,000 and they also made a loss of $200,000. She was then asked about her 2019 profit and loss. She said that in 2019 they would make a profit of about $700,000 and lose about $300,000.
Mark Cuban thought that the losses were too high and he sighed to show his displeasure. For 2020, they expected revenue of $5,500,000. Robert said that he thought that with the losses that they expected, they would need around $500,000 just to stay in business so he wanted to know what they would do if they got the $500,000 that they were looking for. For this reason, he also asked if they expected to raise more cash in the short term.
Lindsey said that the first purpose of the money was to support their retail growth because launching in all the big box retailers was costly. She then said that in the long term, they would want to have frozen products. They wanted to have their products in shelf stables and refrigerated. They also intended to produce about 30 products over the next 3 years. Robert then asked her how much she was going to raise and she said that she was going to raise about $2,000,000.
Lori liked their product and thought that their business would be a success but she wanted a partner in Daniel. Daniel said that she was being very mean. Lindsey then said that Lori’s philosophy was clean food for the next generation and that was what RollinGreens was all about. Daniel then said that he wanted to help them out but he could not save every venture.
Lindsey then said that they had been through all of the challenges and they had sustained themselves for all that time and they were good at executing. Daniel then said that Lindsey needed to be a bit more focused. They seemed to want to do everything.
Ryan disagreed and said that they had been in business for 3 years and had done it extremely well. Mark Cuban disagreed with the point and said that they don’t take their own advice. He thought that they kept giving him expansion options that needed more cash. Lindsey said that they were also switching gears to food service where the margins were better.
Mark Cuban and Daniel then told them that that was exactly their point. Daniel then said that the food service was so competitive and it was going to kill them. Lori also said that their decision to get into food service was also worrying her.
Mark Cuban told them that just because they had landed an account did not mean that it was good. Lori then left. Mark Cuban then asked them what their price for the tots was and he was told that it was sold for $3.11. Mark Cuban asked them what their profit margin was and he was told that it was about 35%. He then left.
Kevin then left. He said that he was leaving because when it came down to it, their profit margins were not high enough. Their profit margins should have been around 50%. He did not see anything good happening to it in the future. Lindsey asked him what bad thing he thought would happen and he said that he thought that they would go out of business.
Robert then made Lindsey an offer because he thought her product tasted great. Robert offered them the $500,000 that they sought for 20% of the business. He then said that he has had a lot of success investing in the right people. She asked Lori if she would come back in to partner with Robert but Lori declined.
Robert disapproved of them asking Lori to get in. However after the pair discussed it, they decided to take Robert’s offer. The pair was very happy to have made the deal.
RollinGreens Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Since its time on Shark Tank, RollinGreens has had a lot of changes. For starters, customers can now order RollingGreens online. RollinGreens is now available in over 4,000 stores nationwide. Some of the retailers now stocking their products are Alfalfas, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Natural Grocers, and King Soopers.
RollingGreens has also changed its packaging. They are now offering a wider variety of alternatives to meat which they affectionately call plant-based Me’eat. RollinGreens success is also reflected in its social media presence. It has over 10,000 followers on Instagram. Its Twitter account has over 1,200 followers, which is not the largest following. However, it is still a new brand so there is time to grow.
The success of RollinGreens is not just because of an effective sales strategy it is also because of them selling a great product. In 2021, they were awarded by QVC. They were given the ‘best plant-based food award for their tater tots. This would indicate that the business’s success is also because of a great product that is popular with customers everywhere it goes.
RollinGreen’s annual revenue was $4,000,000 by the end of 2022. They had expected to be making $5,500,000 by the end of 2020 but $4,000,000 is still a very substantial increase in revenue. RollinGreens is still located in Boulder, Colorado where it started. It got its name from a food truck business that Ryan’s parents started but later abandoned. Ryan is the one who decided to restart the food truck believing in it and it is now a source of employment across the city.