Shark Tank Update: EnergyBits
By Erica Abbott
Founder: Catharine Arnston
Season: Appeared on season 8 in the week nine episode
EnergyBits helps provide a boost of natural energy. Their algae tabs work to eliminate hunger and fatigue without caffeine or harmful chemicals.
According to their website, a bag of 1,000 tabs costs $120. Other products include RecoveryBits, VitalityBits and SkinnyBits. Arnston was inspired to create the algae bits out of a desire “to have an easier, faster way to be healthy and energized” and “make the world a better place” by providing healthy, natural solutions.
When Arnston originally appeared on “Shark Tank,” she came in asking for $500,000 for five percent equity. While some of the sharks liked the taste of the algae tabs, many seemed skeptical of them overall. Kevin O’Leary did not like the valuation and Lori Greiner worried about potentially deceiving customers through the branding. Ultimately, Arnston left without a deal.
Arnston spoke with Business 2 Community about EnergyBits’ experience on the show and what their next steps are. Take a look at the Q&A below:
Q&A with EnergyBits’ Founder Catharine Arnston
What was your strategy for navigating “Shark Tank”?
I wanted to share my knowledge of the health benefits of algae, which the Asians have known about for fifty years and Americans/Canadians are totally unaware of. Algae is a multi-billion dollar industry in Asia and one day it will be even bigger here, once Americans understand that it has more protein than steak, more iron than spinach, more antioxidants than anything and 40 other vitamins and minerals all naturally. That’s why it’s called a “super food”!
Frankly, it is the most nutrient dense food in the world so it’s more than a super food…. it a “super-duper” food. So my strategy on “Shark Tank” was to try and convey the long-term opportunity algae offers, but I think the Sharks are only interested in investing in products that they think consumers will buy millions of now—not in a few years. Frankly, it’s how all investors are, which is why we sought them out. We had to prove the market for algae in the U.S. exists and it’s finally starting to look very promising! And is growing quickly.
How has EnergyBits changed since the episode was first recorded? Since it aired?
Since we aired/taped we have:
1. Designed all-new packaging for our bags of algae tabs that we sell on our website www.energybits.com
2. Designed all-new packaging for our single servings that we are starting to sell at retailers
3. Signed up 50 retailers
4. Started discussions with national distributors in the USA and Canada
5. Doubled our revenue in 2016 over our revenue in 2015
6. Attracted endorsements from Doctors for our purity, safety and nutritional density
7. Started getting recognition in national media like Fast Company and Nutritional Trade publications who declared algae to be one of the biggest 2017 trends in food nutrition. We are the only consumer brand of algae with national recognition and savvy packaging.
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