Heather’s Choice Shark Tank Update

Heather Kelly, a struggling entrepreneur and ambitious adventurer from Alaska, visits Shark Tank to raise $250,000 for 10% equity in her company. Heather’s Choice is a women-led business that sells staples and snacks in ready-to-consume packages. 

Heather’s Choice found it hard to convince any of the sharks. The operating challenges were evident when the Sharks interviewed the owner. However, the whole episode was a great learning experience for the viewers, so you will definitely love it.

Find out how Heather’s Choice presented her case in Shark Tank Season 15 Episode 10. Our Heather’s Choice Shark Tank will explain how everything went down.

Did Heather’s Choice get a deal on Shark Tank?

Heather’s Choice did not get a deal on the Shark Tank because they considered it a non-investable business. Heather Kelly confidently explained the product, pricing, and distribution aspects. However, the pitch went downwards after the first half. 

If you ask us why Heather’s Choice failed to get a deal, the company had major problems. The management was planning to relocate operations to make it profitable. It incurred losses due to interest paid on a $1 million loan.

The owner was reluctant to leave adventurers and target the larger market segments. However, the pitch had some great learning for Heather Kelly and the newer businesses trying to find purpose. 

Heather’s Choice Deal Summary

Shark(s) nameOfferDemandAccepted?
Mark CubanN/AN/AN/A
Kevin O’LearyN/AN/AN/A
Lori GreinerN/AN/AN/A
Daymond JohnN/AN/AN/A
Candace NelsonN/AN/AN/A

Heather’s Choice and its products

heathers choice products on shark tank

Heather’s Choice was founded in 2014 with just one thing in mind: providing adventurers with flavorful, healthy, and easy-to-cook meals. The company is officially one of the rarest food-based companies that target a small market.

The founder, Heather Kelly, is an adventurer herself from Alaska. The company is currently located in Alaska, but the management is planning to relocate it to the Lower 48.

The products include breakfasts, dinners, and packaroons sold inside packets made of metallic sheets. These packets are easy to cook, as an adventurer has to dip and heat it in hot water. The gluten-free recipes are flavorful and versatile at the same time. The product is explained later in the update. We will discuss the price and flavors, so do not miss out. 

Heather’s Choice Founder and backstory

heathers choice founder and backstory

Heather Kelly, an adventure-seeking woman from Alaska, left for schooling at Western Washington University in the late 2000s. Seeing her enthusiasm, the University appointed her to the rowing team. This meant exercising for 24 hours a week, which was her first exposure to the world of diet and fitness. 

Heather learned about nutrition during her initial years on the rowing team. Her dietary discipline and hard work helped Western Washington University win the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth national championships in succession. After college, Heather got invited to a 30-day Grand Canyon trip that involved rowing a 3000-pound gearboat over 200 miles. 

The physical exertion in the trip needed a diet with sufficient calories. She hydrates 50 pounds of food to accompany her on the trip. The food extraction and adventure trip gave rise to the idea of forming Heather’s Choice. However, the company has been struggling with its profits and debt financing. This investment round at Shark Tank was critical for the future of the company. 

Heather’s Choice Shark Tank Update

Pitch and initial presentation

Heather Kelly reached Shark Tank Season 15 with high hopes of raising $250,000 for 10% equity. She asked Sharks to think of going on an adventure and failing to find something decent to eat. The pitch revolved around explaining the worries of an adventurer. It ended with Heather presenting everyone with the popular meals and packaroon snacks.

Discussion on pitch and offer

Candace Nelson and Lori Greiner instantly loved the warm pack of breakfast and dinner heated in hot water. Every shark loved the flavor, variety, and packaging. Candance asked about the number of flavors Heather’s Choice has under its belt. Heather proudly counted six breakfasts, eight dinners, and eight packaroon flavors. 

Candace further asked for the price of each package. Heather answered that the packaroons are sold for $2.5 per pack, the breakfasts for $8.95 per pack, and dinners for $12.5 to $15.95 per pack. The maximum sales were direct-to-customers, and the prices were MSRP. Candace inquired if Heather was a chef. She answered it with her backstory, which we have explained in the ‘founder and backstory’ section. 

Kevin O’Leary asked how much Heather’s Choice makes from each customer in that niche market and if the sales to the end consumer are subscription-based. Heather clarified that each product made a 75% margin. She started her business by selling the packages on Shopify, Amazon, and REI. REI was their biggest customer, and the wholesale network reached 237 doors. 

Kevin wanted to assess the most recent sales. Heather said that 2022 was their first year reaching the $1 million mark. The discussion went upside down when Candace asked for profitability. Heather explained that the brand is not profitable because they used to manufacture in Alaska. The company had the option to opt for co-packing on three different occasions, but maintaining the meal quality was impossible. However, Heather was planning to relocate the operations to Lower 48.

Upon further questions from Kevin regarding the relocation decision, Heather said that the company was expecting to increase the margins from 75% to 80% after relocation. It was an opportunity to scale the packaroon business and plan co-packing. Cuban asked why Heather was ignoring breakfasts and dinners. Heather complained that she had been fundraising for the last nine months, and the feedback from the potential investors was that the meal market was more saturated than the packaroons. 

John disagreed and argued that Heather’s Choice had meals for adventurers, which was a unique concept. Lori supported John. However, Candace said that kids would love flavor-rich meals as an after-school snack. She further insisted that Heather’s Choice could target kids, which is a bigger market than adventurers. 

Things worsened when John asked Heather about the capital raised. She responded that she raised $1.3 million in the last nine years. However, the advisory board was not very happy with the situation. The company had $1 million in debt, which was a big problem. Heather could not make payroll, the company was low on cash, and the balance sheet was miserable. She broke down into tears, but John kept motivating her. He even compared the situation to young Jeff Bezos, who could not make money.

Negotiation and final deal

The negotiation did not go well for Heather’s Choice. Kevin opted out by stating that talking like this to potential investors does not go well in the food industry. He suggested that Heather had to choose the right path for her business, and Kevin was not the one doing it for her.

Candace said that she loved the taste and product, but Heather must compromise a bit on quality. She advised that going for the co-packing is the way to go and opted out. Lori told Heather that the right people did not surround her, but Heather blamed the lack of funds for her company’s failure. 

Cuban did not like what Heather said because she had received $2.3 million ($1.3 million as equity and $1 million as debt). He deduced that Heather could not say yes to the opportunity she had. She kept missing the plot by co-packing and ignoring the bigger market while her company was making losses. Cuban opted out in the end. 

Lori continued with her analysis and advised Heather to focus on the breakfast and dinner packs instead of packaroons. She could not help and said no. John followed up by making the same decision. Heather’s Choice got no deal on Shark Tank.

Product description and availability

Heather’s Choice is an adventure-oriented company that has a long list of gluten-free recipes. The food is packed inside lightweight metallic bags that a person can carry inside their bag packs. Customers can purchase dairy-free and vegan recipes if they want. 

Heather’s Choice has meals and snacks to provide nutrition to everyone. Every recipe is prepared from high-quality ingredients, for instance, Wildlife Alaskan Sockeye Salmon. The meal menu includes breakfasts and dinners. Breakfast costs $8.95, and dinner is sold from $12.5 to $15.95. The most popular recipes in the meals are grass-fed bison chili and morning glory oatmeal. 

However, Heather’s Choice has a trademark coconut cookie called packaroons. These cookies are sold for $2.5 per pack and provide an energy boost to a tired adventurer. 

According to Sharks, the Heather’s Choice products had value, but the company lacked direction. The adventurer market is not big enough to earn millions. Meal companies often run subscription businesses to retain their customers, but Heather’s Choice lags in this aspect, too. 

Packaroon is capable of becoming a popular snack as its flavor is unique and prominent. However, it is low-priced, so it is insufficient to cover the losses. The company does have a considerable wholesale network of 237 doors. The REI, Amazon, and Shopify are some prominent places where the products are sold.

Heather’s Choice produces nothing innovative. It targets adventurers and tries to serve their needs. Competitive pricing can give it an advantage. Considering the financing issues and debt ratio, Heather’s Choice has nothing to lose. 

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