Is it a must to have a dip for chips? YES!
There’s a reason they say chips and dips, and it all starts with the creamy sauce that gives you a burst of flavor when you pop that crisp into your mouth. Today, visit any store, and you will find an aisle dedicated to dips meant for Netflix binging and parties.
They come in different flavors and ingredients, such as Buffalo wings, blue cheese, nacho cheese, and more. A gathering at your house with friends will feel incomplete if you don’t serve a dip with your snacks.
Let’s talk about a dip that caused quite the sensation when people first heard about it ― Back 9 Dips.
David and Nique Mealey, a husband and wife from Florida, founded Back 9 Dips. They came up with the idea to start their own business when David lost his job as a salesman, and they had to sell their car and personal belongings to make ends meet.
Back 9 Dips is a chicken dip that is made with real chicken. People described it as eating a chicken wing on chips when it hit the market. The dip’s main ingredient included a whole chicken breast that was minced and blended with a couple of sauces to create a perfect taste. Though it might sound weird, the taste was unbelievable, making people crazy about it.
The company partnered with Bubba the Love Sponge to make the dip, but the deal was short-lived. David and Nique worked with a food packaging company and started distributing their product at Publix Supermarkets. Once Back 9 Dips became successful, they even received an offer from Costco.
Are They Still An Active Company?
David and Nique never revealed on the show that Bubba The Love Sponge was a minority partner. This wasn’t a problem for Lori and Robert, who had invested in Back 9 Dips. After receiving the money for mass production, the dip was sold as BUBBA’s Chicken Dip.
After appearing on the show, Nique handled marketing, and David worked on improving manufacturing. They received dozens of offers from different supermarkets and were able to sign deals with a few major stores.
However, their success halted when the company forgot to disclose that the dip contains anchovies, which many people are allergic to. As a result, they were forced to recall 112,500 pounds of dip. By then, the product was already selling in Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, Florida, and Illinois. The company couldn’t recover from such a colossal loss and closed down.
Back 9 Dips is no longer in business and you can add them to the long list of Shark Tank Fails.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
David and Nique Mealey appeared in Season 4 of Shark Tank. The husband and wife were looking for $150K in investment for a 15% stake.
Nique launched into the pitch by telling the sharks that last year, people consumed 1.25 billion chicken wings during the Super Bowl. The next most popular food that people ate was chips and dip. She then revealed a container of Back 9 Buffalo Chicken Dip, made by blending various sauces and chicken breast.
Upon hearing this, Mr. Wonderful burst into tears, saying that he couldn’t fathom making such a dip. He called it a Chicken Slurpee, which didn’t go well with the Mealeys. He is the first one to back out.
David explained that their dip was similar to dicing chicken for a salad, except their chicken had been chopped extra fine. Kevin wanted to know the numbers to make a decision. David happily informed him that they had made $400,000 and had 400 accounts in just two years.
Their product had been tested by a supermarket chain and passed with flying colors. The dips had been placed in 60 stores and had a weekly objective, which they met consistently.
Lori likes the taste of the dip but doesn’t believe she can help David. She goes out. Kevin thinks investing in the dip is too risky and backs out. Mark follows Lori and backs out as well. Robert backs out, saying that the food industry is tough now.
When only Daymond is left, Lori says that she will invest in the company for a 15% stake and only if Daymond joins her too. However, Daymond says no. In the end, Robert sees the couple’s hope fading and agrees to join Lori.
Our Review of Back 9 Dips
Back 9 Dips had the potential to become a world-famous product. Who knows… they could have gotten a time slot in the Super Bowl. Their dip was unique, and with backing from Robert and Lori, David and Nique could have been well on their way to success. However, their oversight of the ingredients list caused the downfall of a tasty product.
Pros of Back 9 Dips
- A diverse range of flavors, all having real chicken
- Unique taste
- Attractive packaging
Cons of Back 9 Dips
- Partnership issues
- Failing to disclose the allergen anchovy
- Who Is Back 9 Dips For?
Back 9 Dips are for all chips lovers and anyone who likes to enjoy savory snacks with a creamy, tangy sauce. The dips can be eaten by children, adults, and older people.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Halladay’s Harvest Barn
Back 9 Dips has hundreds of competitors. However, Halladay’s Harvest Barn shows up online when you search for real chicken dips. The company is known for using fresh ingredients in all its dips. They also offer chicken seasonings and other condiments for dinners.
Our Final Thoughts
Once Back 9 Dips ceased operations, David and Nique left the business for good and turned back to different 9 to 5 jobs. Back 9 Dips could have reached great heights if only David, who had been responsible for managing the manufacturing responsibilities, had given a good look at the back of the product.
As for Lori and Robert’s involvement, they have yet to say anything about this failure. This wasn’t the first time they invested in a product that didn’t make it. If you’d like to see some of the others, be sure to check out our list of all shark tank products.