In March 2014, I had the honor of presenting the concept of insect protein to the Sharks on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank (Season 5, episode 21.) As many of you know, we received an investment from billionaire Mark Cuban, which launched a period of growth that we are currently still building. When I walked into the tank, I was still hand-making every bar with the help of a volunteer crew of friends and family, tediously applying front and back labels to each and every bar. Fast forward two years later, and we now work with a major protein bar producer, have national distribution, and have added new flavors and cricket flour products to the lineup. It has been an amazing journey to not only grow our small company, but also to see new comers into the market place.
Chirps Chips on Shark Tank
One example is Chirps Chips, who presented their cricket flour chips to the Sharks on January 27, 2017. In an exciting episode, Laura D’Asaro and Rose Wang, founders of Six Foods, present the environmental and health benefits of their cricket flour chips as well as their brand strategy to introduce the concept in a fun and approachable way. Our response to another company using cricket flour in a food product? We couldn’t be more thrilled. When we started Chapul in 2012, we were the first company of its kind. Since then, we have tried to establish an environment of collaboration among new comers to the market, who have a similar underlying mission that we do: improve the health and sustainability of our food supply. And after all, as they say, a rising tide raises all ships.
Mark Cuban Suggests Cricket Flour
On Chapul’s episode of Shark Tank, Mark suggested adding cricket flour protein into our lineup, and after many hours and prototypes later, we launched our 100% pure cricket flour, high in protein and a great source of B12, Bio-available Iron, and prebiotic fiber, all with 0g of sugar. We also added a gluten-free cricket baking flour to the lineup, as a direct 1:1 substitute for standard baking flours. As we grow as a company, and as a member of a new high-growth industry, we will continue to push the envelope of innovation, all while maintaining the same high standards of healthy and delicious products, and ethical sourcing of our ingredients. Of course, we are not on this mission alone, so if you have feedback for us along this journey, please let us know!
To see Mark Cuban rolling up his sleeves and helping us launch into Central Market grocery chain, check out the video below: