The Broccoli Wad consists of rubber bands similar to those found in grocery stores to hold fresh goods and a steel clip in the front. The purpose of the Broccoli Wad is to keep your money together without needing a wallet.
Wallets used to be a convenient way of carrying your money, but over time they get full of credit cards, business cards, receipts, and cash. The bulbous wallet in your back pocket disturbs walking and sitting, needing to be taken out before you sit.
The founder, Johnny Gennaro, was inspired by a documentary about the FBI investigation of “wise men” or, in other words, the Mafiosos. He observed that members of the mafia don’t use wallets but instead keep their money bound in a money clip. Whether they do it as a power move or for convenience, it lit up a light bulb in Gennaro’s mind.
He noticed that some members used rubber bands as money clips. Not delighted by the simple look, he wanted to create a more robust and flexible version of these clips. The rubber bands reminded him of those used to tie bunches of broccoli, hence the name Broccoli Wad.
John Gennaro, along with TV star Vinny Pastore, appeared in the fourth episode of the second season of Shark Tank. They asked for fifty thousand dollars for twenty percent of their business. He describes the Broccoli Wad as “an offer you can’t refuse,” depicting the God Father.
He explains how he got the idea and gives samples to the Sharks. Barbara Corcoran pulls out of the deal, saying that she does not understand the product and that the Broccoli Wad was one of the worst products on the show. Kevin O’Leary pulls out because he thinks the product is too expensive. Jeff Foxworth follows suit and pulls out of the deal too.
While Daymond John is still processing the offer, Barbara Corcoran comes back, saying she will give the fifty thousand to Johnny for forty percent if he renames the product “Vinny Wad” and makes Vinny Pastore the face of the company. She even agrees to split her forty percent with Vinny if he agrees. After hearing the offer, John pulls out of the deal with no rebuttal.
John Gennaro says he doesn’t only want the money, but he wants someone to help him with sales and marketing, which is Barbara’s specialty. John agrees with the fifty thousand dollars and Barbara Corcoran’s sales and marketing capabilities. They have a deal.
Even with the Shark Tank success, the product only had short-lived success. After a few years, the product was no longer under Johnny Gennaro but was sold on Amazon by Wise Guy Productions. The product experienced a massive spike in price and is currently unavailable.
Our Review of Broccoli Wad
The Broccoli Wad is a chic way of carrying around money and saves you the trouble of carrying around a wallet. The rubber bands used are durable and can hold money well. The metal piece in front is removable for people who do not prefer it.
A problem with many other money bands is that often they are so tight that it is hard to pull them over your credit cards and your money wad, and over time they increase their elasticity and do not hold the money as tightly anymore. The Broccoli Wad is durable and easy to use, making it a customer favorite.
One problem with the Broccoli Wad is that, after coming under Wise Guy Production, the massive spike in the price has made some people hesitant to purchase it, and some people who have purchased it feel regret.
People would expect a high-quality, multi-use product with the money it costs. Instead, getting two rubber bands for such a price seems a bit much.
However, the product has received stellar reviews, with people loving its usability and quality. That said, we should note that almost all of these reviews were posted when the Broccoli Wad was sold under John Gennaro and did not cost as much.
A more significant issue with the Broccoli Wad was the marketing. While the Shark Tank episode did help some people understand the product, most still bought it as a rubber band, not to hold money. The confusion on the use of the product might be where some customers did not like the metal piece on the front when all they needed were the rubber bands.
We have listed some pros and cons to review to understand the product better.
Pros of The Broccoli Wad
- Easy to carry
- Effective in holding money and cards
Cons of The Broccoli Wad
- Poor Quality-Price ratio
- After a while, the metal piece comes off by itself
Who is Broccoli Wad For?
The founder of Broccoli Wad intended it to be used by men who hated carrying around a heavy and full wallet. It makes carrying money and credit cards more accessible and keeps them tightly secured.
However, the market for the Broccoli Wad exceeds just that. Women can buy this product for hair bands, as the rubber is durable and high quality.
Broccoli Wad is also an excellent gift idea, entering the men’s gift pool, which is limited to begin with.
Are There Any Alternatives?
The Broccoli Wad was marketed toward men as stylish money holders. However, many other such products in the market do not cost as much. One such product is the Grifiti Band–Pocket Wallet.
The Pocket Wallet comes in many colors, giving the customer a wide variety. They are durable and less costly than the Broccoli Wad and are perfect for holding cards, licenses, and a wad of cash. They have received great reviews from customers.
Our Final Thoughts
The Broccoli Wad was a unique product because it marketed a mafia-centered theme to attract male customers. The band was elastic enough to place over your money wad and card quickly, but not too much that it would loosen its grip. However, the cost made the Broccoli Wad decrease in popularity amongst customers, railing in more bad reviews primarily due to the price.