Chill Soda: What Happened After Shark Tank?

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I've always been a fan of innovative products that disrupt the market and bring a fresh perspective to everyday items. Personally, I really like discovering hidden gems, and one such gem that caught my attention was Chill Soda.

I vividly remember watching their pitch on Shark Tank, where they presented their unique, stress-relieving soda. The idea seemed brilliant, but I couldn't help but wonder, "What happened after Shark Tank?"

What is Chill Soda?

Chill Soda, a healthy soda brand, stands out as a refreshing alternative to traditional soft drinks. Available in four enticing flavors - Chill Kola, Chill Pome, Chill Guava, and Chill Lemon - it's low in sugar and calories, making it a delicious yet nutritious choice.

Chill Soda Shark Tank

What sets Chill Soda apart is its commitment to using natural ingredients and the absence of preservatives, embodying a trend towards cleaner, more wholesome beverages. 

Founded by Dan Mackey, the inspiration for Chill Soda came from a genuine need for a better, healthier soda, especially in school environments. The name "Chill" reflects its low glycemic index and promotes a relaxed attitude towards health.

Partnering with notable figures like Barbara Corcoran has only added to Chill Soda's success, making it a game-changer in the beverage industry, offering a genuine revolution in the world of sodas.

Success and expansion

The journey from being a fledgling startup to a recognized brand was marked with dedication and hard work. Chill Soda gradually gained a foothold in the beverage market, and their product could be found on the shelves of major retailers. This was a testament to their perseverance and the uniqueness of their product.

The success they achieved prompted further expansion. They introduced new flavors and variations of Chill Soda, catering to diverse consumer preferences. I was pleased to see that they continued to innovate and explore new avenues, ensuring that they weren't a one-hit wonder.

Chill Soda's debut on Shark Tank 

Chill Soda, with its promise of a relaxing and refreshing beverage, managed to secure a deal with one of the sharks on the show. Their pitch showcased a product that was both innovative and potentially life-changing. I was genuinely excited for their journey, and I, like many others, anticipated their success.

However, I found that the journey after Shark Tank is often more challenging than it appears on television. The show's format provides a platform for businesses to gain exposure and secure investment, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee long-term success.

After that initial euphoria, Chill Soda had to navigate a series of hurdles and challenges in the competitive beverage industry.

  • Chill Soda's Shark Tank pitch: During his appearance on Shark Tank, Dan Mackey sought a $55,000 investment in exchange for a 10% equity stake in Chill Soda. Before the show, the brand had already generated $175,000 in revenue by selling 250,000 cans of Chill Soda through various California distributors.
  • Initial interest and concern: The sharks initially found Mackey's product and success intriguing. However, his lack of industry experience, despite being a marketing expert, raised concerns among the investors. Kevin, Daymond, and Robert backed out due to Mackey's limited understanding of the beverage market, nearly jeopardizing the deal.
  • Barbara Corcoran's interest: Surprisingly, Barbara Corcoran remained interested in Chill Soda, inspired by Mackey's honesty and vision for the company. She offered to invest $50,000 for a 20% stake in Chill Soda, a move that shocked the other sharks.
  • The final deal: Ultimately, the deal was sealed with Barbara Corcoran investing $55,000 for a 20% equity stake in Chill Soda, making her the sole investor in the brand. Her trust in Mackey's vision played a pivotal role in the brand's journey.

The truth behind the pitch

In the high-stakes world of Shark Tank, every pitch is a make-or-break moment. For Dan Mackey, founder of Chill Soda, it was a rollercoaster of hope, promise, and daunting challenges.

Chill Soda
  • Founder's limited industry knowledge: During his appearance on Shark Tank, Chill Soda founder Dan Mackey openly admitted to having limited knowledge about the beverage industry.
  • Promising start: Mackey's pitch began on a positive note as he sought a $50,000 investment for a 10% equity share in Chill Soda. He emphasized the soda's organic, low-glycemic, and antioxidant-rich qualities, all while lacking high-fructose content. Moreover, he confidently asserted, "It tastes like regular soda."
  • Sharks' favorable response: To his delight, the sharks seemed to enjoy the Chill Soda samples he provided.
  • The question that stumped: Things took a downturn when Kevin O’Leary posed a critical question about the "ultimate leverage of success" in the beverage industry, with the answer being "Distribution." Mackey struggled to respond.
  • The confession: Mackey explained that he had a distributor who purchased 250,000 cans, yielding $175,000 in sales. He also revealed that the distributor had connections with a beverage management company, which Mackey used for guidance. When questioned about the beverage management company's role, Mackey confessed, "They are consultants... because I don’t know that much about the beverage industry."
  • Sharks' reaction: The sharks expressed their dissatisfaction with Mackey's limited knowledge. Kevin O’Leary questioned why he was there, and Daymond John, along with his fellow sharks Kevin Harrington and Robert Herjavec, withdrew from the opportunity almost immediately.

Navigating the challenges

Personally, I've always believed that success is not just about the idea, but how well it's executed. Chill Soda faced the uphill task of scaling their production and distribution while maintaining the quality and uniqueness of their product.

The demand generated by their appearance on Shark Tank led to a surge in orders, which is a great problem to have, but it can also be overwhelming for a young company.

  • Barbara Corcoran's investment: Barbara Corcoran, an accomplished angel investor with an estimated net worth of $80 million, invested $50,000 for a 20% stake in Chill Soda on the popular TV show, Shark Tank. The company was valued at $250,000 before securing this investment.
  • Chill Soda's downfall: Unfortunately, Chill Soda faced challenges after its appearance on Shark Tank and eventually ceased operations. The company maintains a website that still allows customers to place orders, but its financial status is uncertain.
  • Current status and uncertainty: As of now, there is limited information available regarding Chill Soda's financial and operational status post-Shark Tank. The distribution partnerships that existed when Dan Mackey pitched on the show appear to no longer be in place. Interested customers must email the company to be added to their mailing list to potentially purchase Chill Soda, though it's unclear if the company is actively selling its products.
  • Barbara Corcoran's loss: Barbara Corcoran openly admitted to experiencing financial losses on her investment in Chill Soda but did not provide specific details. It's evident that the company's inability to generate a profit led to the unsuccessful outcome of her investment.
  • A Shark Tank failure: Regrettably, Chill Soda stands as one of the many disappointments on Shark Tank. As of 2022, the company's website remains largely unchanged since 2015, with a promise of an upcoming online store that never came to fruition.

Sustaining growth 

I really like seeing how companies adapt and evolve, especially when they face adversity. Chill Soda showed resilience in the face of these challenges. They managed to secure partnerships with suppliers to ensure a steady stream of ingredients.

Chill Shark Tank

Moreover, they invested in research and development to further enhance the formula and taste of their soda.

  • Unknown net worth and closure: The net worth of Chill Soda remains undisclosed, as the company ultimately shuttered due to its inability to establish a significant presence in the fiercely competitive soft drink market. While its valuation on Shark Tank reached $550,000, there is no available information regarding the company's total revenue or expenses.
  • Buzz and enthusiasm: Despite its ultimate failure, Chill Soda garnered considerable attention and excitement from viewers and loyal customers. The soda was lauded for its distinctive flavor and utilization of natural sweeteners, earning praise for its low-calorie and health-conscious composition.
  • Scaling challenges: Regrettably, the obstacles associated with expanding production and distribution became insurmountable for this small, independent company, ultimately leading to its closure.

What lies ahead

However, I found that Chill Soda is at a crucial juncture in their journey. While they have come a long way, the beverage industry remains highly competitive. Maintaining their momentum and uniqueness is vital. They need to continually innovate and adapt to changing consumer tastes and preferences.

One area where Chill Soda could potentially explore further is the health and wellness market. With increasing awareness of the impact of stress on our health, they have the potential to position themselves as a go-to beverage for relaxation and mental well-being.

Wrapping up

Chill Soda's journey after Shark Tank has been nothing short of inspiring. They faced numerous challenges head-on, adapted, and thrived in a competitive industry. Personally, I'm excited to see what the future holds for this innovative beverage brand. 

Their commitment to quality, uniqueness, and sustainability positions them well for continued success in the market. As Chill Soda continues to evolve and grow, I'll be eagerly watching to see how they redefine the beverage industry.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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