Vade Nutrition Before Shark Tank
Vade Nutrition is the brainchild of Joe Johnson, who came up with the idea of dissolvable food-grade film technology while he was a student at Michigan State University. The captain of the wrestling team, Joe figured that there must be a better way to use powdered supplements than to just scoop them into bags and carry them in tubs.
He eventually met Megan, a former student at Arizona University at a summer camp for athletes, and like Joe, she also felt that there was a gap in the nutrition supplement industry. Coming together with their mutual interests, the two eventually got married and began building their family, all while trying to tackle the nutrition supplement issue.
It took some time but they eventually invented a pre-made protein pod, one that features a dissolving membrane, that contains all the powder for a single shake. They decided to name the product Vade Nutrition, after the Latin word for “to vanish” and brought it to the market shortly afterward.
By mid-2016, they had quit their full-time jobs to work for the company, which had a patent pending for the product. Not only did they sell the protein powder pods on their website, but they also began to sell on Amazon. However, they soon found themselves in need of funds for distribution and growth.
Wanting to try their luck, they decided to give Shark Tank a try, and after several rounds of calls and auditions, they were told that they would be featured in the tenth season, which would air in 2019.
Vade Nutrition on Shark Tank
Joe and Megan walk into the tank with smiles on their faces. They introduce themselves and tell the sharks they’re looking for a $250,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake in their company Vade Nutrition.
As the sharks make notes, the wife-and-husband duo jump into their pitch. Megan says that working out is part of Joe’s everyday life but points out that he’s never able to find the scooper for his protein powder after going to the gym. Continuing, she says that even when he does find the scooper, it’s hard to scoop the actual powder into a cup without making a mess. Beside her, Joe demonstrates his frustrations with a scooper and a tub.
Megan notes that it’s not convenient and prevents him from being able to take his protein on the go as it’s difficult to measure the powder into tiny plastic bags. Throwing the baggie down on the floor, Joe excitedly says that’s when they got the idea to make dissolvable protein scoops.
Megan immediately holds out one of the dissolvable protein scroops for the sharks to see. Noting that it contains a full serving of protein powder. she tells them that it’s wrapped in a food-grade edible film that dissolves instantly when blended or shaken in water, milk, or other beverages.
Holding a cup in his hand, Joe demonstrates just how easy they are to use by giving it a shake. He then takes a sip of it himself.
Megan ends their pitch by saying that they’ve created the perfect protein for the on-the-go lifestyle. She also emphasizes that their product eliminates mess, hassle, and environmental waste. Surprising the sharks by doing a backflip, she asks who is interested in investing in their company.
The pair invites the sharks to try the samples and everyone is quick to agree with the idea. Pushing a small cart over, Megan lets them know that they have two flavors- chocolate and vanilla and that they can try whichever flavor they’d like.
Lori immediately notices that the chocolate-flavored protein scoop has the same calories as the vanilla, which she likes.
As he’s opening the package, Kevin asks what the dissolvable film wrapping is made of. Megan tells him it’s made of 100 percent food-grade ingredients and that the main ingredient is used to coat pills and vitamins while the rest are fillers.
Holding the pod in his hand, Kevin notes that it looks like plastic. Megan agrees but reassures him that it’s totally edible and safe and that it will dissolve completely with a little shake.
Kevin asks if they can put ice into the drink and they tell him yes. Joe also points out that a lot of people make smoothies with the protein powder. Megan adds that some people put the vanilla in juice. Lori likes the fact that it doesn’t contain any sugar.
Kevin asks how many calories are in one protein pod. Joe tells him there are 90 calories in one serving. Saying that she’s not familiar with protein powders, Lori asks if that’s a typical amount for protein powder. Joe and Megan tell her yes, and that their product is very lean. Joe also says that their product is 100 percent whey isolate, which is one of the leanest proteins that are available on the market. Continuing, he tells her there are only two carbs, and one gram of fat per serving.
Barbara is not impressed with the taste. Megan tells her they’ve been told they have one of the best-tasting protein powders.
Lori jumps in and says she loves how it tastes. Mark also notes that taste is relative to beverages. The other sharks agree.
Guest shark Alex Rodriguez asks how much protein is in each serving. Megan tells him there are 20 grams of protein per serving.
Alex also asks about their backgrounds. Joe tells him he went to school at Michigan State University for a finance degree and that during that time, he was part of the wrestling team. He tells them that he met Megan, who’s also an athlete, at a summer camp in Colorado. Megan says she eventually moved to Michigan where they got married and started a family.
Kevin asks about the cost of the product, the manufacturer, and gross margins.
Joe says they started selling the product in July 2017 and that they tested the product for a while as it’s completely different than those that are already on the market. Barbara asks if the delivery system is the only thing that makes it different and they say yes. Joe adds that convenient packaging, like their dissolvable wrapping, is the biggest innovation “in any type of food right now”.
Barbara asks if they have a patent on the product. They tell her that they have a patent pending.
Mark asks what they’re doing that’s unique that makes it protectable. Joe tells him they have a utility patent on any consumable powder that’s wrapped entirely by another consumable container, both of which are meant to be consumed at the exact same time, after being dissolved in a water-based liquid.
Kevin asks about their pricing and whether or not there’s a premium that goes with the convenient packaging. Joe says no; he tells him the price of whey isolate is usually between $1.20 and $2 per serving and that theirs is at $1.50 a serving.
Alex asks about their annual revenues. Joe says they’ve done $80,000 worth of sales so far, $30,000 of which is from the past month. Mark asks if any of the sales is from Kickstarter and they tell him no. Asked where they’re currently selling the product, Megan says they’re selling it on their website as well as on Amazon and a few other online retailers.
Joe explains that they went to a fitness expo to launch the product. Megan says they spent $50,000 to get the product there but that when the protein powder arrived, they found out that it was flavored incorrectly. To make matters worse, the manufacturer wouldn’t give them their money back.
Kevin points out that the majority of costs for the whole industry are marketing and customer acquisition and asks what they’re going to do to get customers.
Joe says they’re currently using social media to get the word out, though they haven’t paid for ads. Continuing, he reveals that one-quarter of their website traffic comes from social media because people like the product.
Kevin notes that it’s almost impossible for supplement products to get shelf space in stores. Mark agrees and says people aren’t walking into drug stores and says their “home run” is getting licensing and expanding it to new products. Joe agrees.
Barbara isn’t impressed with how they’ve only sold $80,000 worth of products. Joe reveals that they’ve spent $300,000 on inventory but that a lot of it has already gone away since they have minimums for their orders. Asked whether or not it’s because of the problems that they ran into earlier, they say yes.
Megan admits that it’s been tough and that there have been times when they’ve considered shutting down the business.
Mark compares their patent to “a hammer” and makes them an offer. He also tells them he’ll be able to help prevent them from making further mistakes in the future. However, he says he will need more than 10 percent equity; he goes on to offer them $350,000 for a 20 percent stake.
Megan and Joe immediately say that it’s a great offer but tells him that they would like to hear from the rest of the sharks. Mark warns them that his offer may not remain on the table for long.
Before the pair can say anything, Lori jumps in and says how much she loves the product, but that she’s still thinking about whether or not to make an offer.
Alex tells them that the product is “right in his wheelhouse” and proposes that he and Mark work together for $700,000 in exchange for 40 percent. Mark agrees.
Joe asks whether or not they’d be willing to do it for 25 percent. Mark says no and points out that $700,000 is a lot of money.
Joe and Megan discuss amongst themselves briefly before accepting Mark and Alex’s offer. The rest of the sharks give their congratulations as Mark and Alex give the pair handshakes and hugs.
Vade Nutrition Now in 2024 – The After Shark Tank Update
As far as we can tell, the deal with Mark and Alex was never finalized, However, the company remains successful. Nowadays, it’s sold at a number of retailers including GNC, Walmart, and Bodybuilding.com.
Not only that but it’s still available on Amazon as well. If anything, the product is incredibly popular on the site, with more than a thousand reviews, most of which are positive. For one thing, many people have praised the dissolvable protein packs for their taste. In fact, many have said that it tastes much better than other protein powders, which supports what Megan had said in the tank.
Customers are also happy with how convenient they are to use as the protein packs dissolve quickly in water and other liquids. Many have also written in their reviews that they’re great for traveling.
As with all products on Amazon, however, there are some negative reviews. For example, one user wrote that the protein packs have a bad aftertaste. Others, like Barbara, weren’t a fan of the taste and said that it’s actually worse than the normal protein shake powders that they use.
Having said that, the general consensus is still overwhelmingly positive.
For those who are interested, you can also purchase them from their website at vade-nutrition.com. Currently, their whey isolate dissolvable protein packs are available in four different flavors: chocolate milkshake, vanilla milkshake, cappuccino, and strawberry milkshake. Not only are they available as single packs (one serving), which go for $3.25, but they also come in 16-serving and 30-serving bags, which are priced at $31.99 and $48.99 respectively.
Since being in the tank, they’ve also launched a plant-based dissolvable protein pack which is available in three flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry smoothie. And like their original protein packs, you can get them as single serving bags ($3.75) or as a bigger pack ($44.99), which contains 14 servings.
That’s not all, they’ve also started to sell dissolvable collagen packs, which come with MCT oil. There are four flavors to choose from: orange cream, unflavored, pina colada, and key lime pie. They are currently priced at $44.99 for a 28-serving bag or $3.49 for a single-serving bag. Starter kits are also available for $36.