Jared Whetstone, a young man from St. Augustine, Florida, was the second presenter in episode 4 of Shark Tank season 8. He introduced himself as the “third-generation chocolatier,” looking to expand his family business, the Atlantic Candy Company.
Formerly known as the Whetstone Candy, the Atlantic Candy Company was originally a candy shop run by Jared’s grandparents in the 1960s. Later, in the 1980s, Hank Whetstone Jr., Jared’s father, pioneered the shop as a candy manufacturing company.
By the time they moved to Florida in 1997, the Atlantic Candy Company was primarily working as a contract manufacturer for Mars, Hershey, and Nestle. They even helped manufacture the machinery for the globally beloved Hershey Nuggets and Kisses.
Their business expansion was Hank’s long-awaited dream, and Jared wanted to see his father succeed. His extensive business resume piqued the Sharks’ interest, but his risky business model blew over the deal for him.
What is Atlantic Candy Company?
Atlantic Candy Company is a state-of-the-art candy manufacturing factory that has been in business for over 30 years. The factory was successfully producing 40 million units/year up until the airdate and aimed to accelerate the production to 160 million units/year.
After witnessing the products he helped create garner global recognition, Jared’s father realized the potential of his business model; he could make and sell his own candy products!
Since then, Hank has patented several of his inventive manufacturing technology and techniques. The company is now all set to launch its first product, the Awesome Ball, a toy product encased in a two-piece plastic ball covered in chocolate.
Jared was hoping to make his father proud by closing the deal with one of the Sharks. He was willing to give up 10% of the equity stakes of his company for $1 million.
Jared successfully grabbed the Sharks’ attention by revealing the company was selling over 10 billion pieces per year. He followed this by claiming that the product was already famous across states and could replicate the excitement one would feel while opening a birthday present.
Jared stumbled over his words when he talked about the past controversy surrounding the product and ended up cursing out loud. Kevin was taken aback by his outburst, but he didn’t stop him as it seemed to give him a confidence boost. Once he had his wits about him, Jared ended his presentation by calling the product an American version of Kinder egg.
Kevin was the first Shark to speak; he asked to see some samples, which Jared happily supplied. As the Sharks cracked open the chocolate, the room came alive with excited chatter. Each Shark found a toy with their picture inside the chocolate ball, and Jared explained that they were exclusive Shark Tank collectibles.
Kevin wondered about the ban on the design and asked for more details. After a hesitant pause, Jared unveiled a concerning piece of information: Similar products have been shut down by the FDA in the past, and until recently, the product design was banned in the U.S.A.
This alarmed the Sharks as they exchanged doubtful glances with one another. Jared could feel the tension in the room, so he tried to soften the blow and revealed that his father had overcome the ban with his revised design.
The Awesome Ball had an advantage over its predecessors: Hank’s design has a ridge around the packaging, which ensures the chocolate doesn’t come in contact with the toy, minimizing the risk of choking.
The product was safe for consumption as its European counterpart was already sold in Europe. Jared proclaimed that the Awesome Ball would be the first chocolate-covered toy product in the U.S.A., giving them an advantage in the market.
The deal started to fall apart when the Sharks learned that there were only two years left on the patent. They suspected heavy competition in the next two years, considering the market’s competitiveness.
Robert questioned why they would introduce a new product when the company they were in contract with had jumped the boat. He didn’t see his company making $2.5 million this year without a contract. Jared explained that they could produce 100 million units of the chocolate toy and rake in $3.5 million for next year.
Jared’s calculation confused the Sharks, so Mark stepped in to explain on his behalf: Jared’s company was a contract manufacturer, but when they spotted a lucrative venture in toy chocolate, they aimed for expansion. Mark further added that he had no confidence in Jared’s ability to manage his manufacturing contracts with retail, and because of that, he was out.
Daymond and Robert dismissed the deal on similar grounds: Jared had only worked as a contract manufacturer and had no experience in retail. Kevin was also not keen on joining Jared on this journey, and Lori was concerned over the patent expiring before they could even make headway.
Jared couldn’t close the deal and left the stage disappointed.
Our Review of Atlantic Candy Company
Atlantic Candy Company has rebranded its chocolate ball as ToyBox without any prominent changes in its original design. A year after appearing on Shark Tank, the company was sued by one of its Australian contractors, but the case was dismissed soon after. Just as the Sharks predicted, Jared struggled in retail but managed to come up on top against all odds.
Being an American version of Kinder egg has played to their advantage as they didn’t have to prepare the market for the product. Consumers were willing to place their bets on a familiar design, and kids were eager for the surprise toy, paying little attention to the brand. Our taste buds found the chocolate delightful, and the anticipation of finding something inside it added to the fun.
The Atlantic Candy Company is currently raking in $4 million a year and is available at many retail stores like Target, Office Depot, and Walmart. The Sharks were right to call the company’s expansion a risky venture, but if they had allowed Jared to borrow their expertise, things would have turned in their favor. However, no one was prepared to take that leap of faith!
Pros of Atlantic Candy Company
- FDA-approved safe design
Cons of Atlantic Candy Company
- Only oneflavor
- Limited availability
Who is Atlantic Candy Company for?
Atlantic Candy Company’s Toy Box is famous among kids and adults. The surprise toy inside the chocolate ball is a present that no one wants to skip on, especially during the Easter holidays, as they make for perfect props.
Are There Any Alternatives?
ToyBox has a famous European alternative, Kinder JOY,” and a few other local duplicates. Despite only being a different version of something already popular, “TouBox” has managed to hold on to its identity efficiently.
Our Final Thoughts
The Atlantic Candy Company was able to deliver on its ambition by exceeding the sales standard it had set for itself. The company’s expansion is steadily climbing. Considering how kids are not giving up on the thrill of a surprise anytime soon, we can continue to expect good things from the company. “ToyBox” is a treat for all generations!