How This Meal Delivery Service For Kids Got $500,000 on ‘Shark Tank’
The founders of meal delivery service Yumble are convincing children to eat healthy food. Here’s how.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Meal delivery company Yumble started quite the feeding frenzy on Shark Tank.
On Sunday's episode of the show, guest Shark and Skinnygirl spirits founder Bethenny Frankel agreed to invest $500,000 in the New Jersey-based company after fighting off offers from the other sharks. Yumble sells healthy kids' meals for between $6.99 and $7.99, including shipping. The meals don't require cooking, are ready in 60 seconds or less, and come with small toys to entertain children. Husband-and-wife co-founders David and Joanna Parker launched the company in June of 2017 and have since generated $1.3 million in sales. Joanna Parker got the idea for the company from her experiences getting her own children to eat healthy food.
"I found it challenging and stressful to put healthy foods in front of my kids and [have them] throw it on the floor," she told Inc. "I really developed it out of my personal pain point."
While she wasn't sure at first that other parents would pay for such a service, after asking a group of mothers on Facebook if they would purchase healthy, pre-made meals for their children, nearly everyone said yes. David Parker, a recent graduate of Harvard Business School who had previously worked at a social media startup, joined his wife as co-founder shortly thereafter. They expect to hit $5 million in annual sales for their first full calendar year, the co-founders told the Sharks.
Despite being impressed with the quality of the Parkers' products, the Sharks questioned their ability to grow a meal-delivery business at the same time that Amazon has come to dominate the market. Shark Kevin O'Leary noted that the e-commerce giant's acquisition of Whole Foods has helped it acquire so many customers that meal delivery companies like Blue Apron have struggled to compete.
Not all the Sharks felt this way, however. Frankel, who sold the Skinnygirl spirits brand for $100 million in 2011, offered $500,000 in exchange for 15 percent of the company, more than three times the 4 percent equity the Parkers were offering. She also offered to act as a spokesperson for the brand. Guest Shark Rohan Oza, who's earned the nickname "Hollywood's Brandfather" for helping growing brands like Vitamin Water, also felt that Yumble had a clear point of differentiation that could help it compete.
"All the issues these guys brought up are very valid, but if that's the way everyone thought, entrepreneurs would never create brands," Oza said during the episode. "There's always a Walmart or an Amazon or someone who has been there or done that."
After offering $500,000 for a 12 percent stake, Oza invited Lori Greiner to join his deal. Frankel quickly dropped her equity ask to 6 percent, which the Parkers' accepted. O'Leary badmouthed the company's prospects, but Frankel fired back, citing his recent deal for a novelty product company called Pot It Pal.
"You just invested in a sponge that pops pimples," she said.