Beverages like sodas, juices, and drinks are popular amongst everyone in America. But they can prove to be severely unhealthy, especially if not consumed in decent quantities.
Dan Mackey, a self-claimed marketing guy from California, was astonished to learn that schools were getting rid of sodas and they were replacing them with items that weren’t any less unhealthy. There are as many calories as possible, if not more, in juices and sports drinks.
Dan Mackey wanted to change this and help children and adults by giving them a healthier alternative to these beverages. He invented Chill Soda with this purpose.
Mackey’s goals were ambitious. He wanted Chill Soda to become a perfect sugar-free soda alternative. These sodas are still as sweet as the regular ones, but the sweet flavor in them comes from agave nectar. Mackey has completely avoided his soda from high fructose corn syrup and other unhealthy sugars.
Chill Soda was not only a brand of healthier sodas but also a personal goal of the owner to educate the public about his beverage line, which naturally struck a balance between nutrition, low calories, and tastefulness.
Before Shark Tank, Dan had already set up his company and produced Chill Soda. After he produced Chill Soda, Dan partnered with a decent-sized distributor, who purchased 25,000 cans from Dan.
Dan appeared in the first season of Shark Tank. He offered the Sharks 10% equity in return for $55,000. Dan was not only in for the money. He did not know enough about the beverage industry and hoped to network with the Sharks and learn from their entrepreneurial experience.
Initially, the Sharks were interested in his pitch. But Dan’s nervousness took the best of him. When asked about sales, the Sharks initially thought he sold only 250 cans when in fact he had sold 250,000 for $175,000 to a distributor. His lack of industry knowledge was also a critical point that did not impress the Sharks.
The Sharks were not impressed by his inexperience in the beverage industry and poor presentation skills, and Sharks stepped out one by one. Daymond pointed out Mackey’s lack of professional conduct. He thought Mackey had no direction and was naïve. O’Leary told Mackey that the beverage industry is one of the most competitive industries to penetrate, and Chill Soda would go under quickly.
Barbara Corcoran was the only Shark left. She was happy to offer Mackey $50,000 for 20% equity in Chill Soda.
The other Sharks could see the loops in Mackey’s business and approach. They foresaw his failure already and unanimously tried to stop Barbara from investing. But Barbara had been successfully persuaded to invest in Chill Soda, and Mackey happily accepted her offer.
O’Leary’s prediction was accurate. After Shark Tank, Chill Soda did not experience any growth. Since launching in 2009, Chill Soda did not have a practical business model.
Chill Soda does have a website. Their website provides information on the ingredient list and benefits of the drink. However, it fails to provide any updates on the product. The drinks are not available on the online store as well..
Even if it were available in brick-and-mortar stores, Chill Soda could have competed with other beverages on the market.
The deal that Dan made with a promising distributor is also not in function. Apparently, the only way someone can possibly purchase the drink is by sending the company an email. Their website mentions that the soda is “coming soon,” but there has been no update. This all points towards the business failing and not being operational.
Barbara Corcoran, who went against the other Sharks to invest in Dan’s business, recently stated that she lost her investment in Chill Soda. She did not elaborate on the reasons.
Our Review of Chill Soda
Chill Soda was ambitious with its goals, but the beverage industry proved to be a tough market to break into. .. Investments are crucial for any business, and it would have taken more than just an investment for Chill Soda to be a successful business, especially when competition is tough. There are giants dominating the industry because of the first-mover advantage or have huge marketing and advertising budgets.
Although Dan Mackey had thoughtful intentions, his dream was larger than life, almost unrealistic. It is challenging to convince people to choose his brand new beverage over those who have been market leaders for the longest time. It has been over a decade since Dan launched his beverage, but anyone has yet to see the cans anywhere. It is also evident that Dan did not attempt to understand the industry.
Unsuccessful marketing initiatives can be another reason Chill Soda did not take off. Marketing is an integral step in the initial stage of any business. From the looks of it, Chill Soda did not attempt to market the product well since it began, which is absurd, considering that Dan claimed to be a marketing man.
Pros of Chill Soda
Although the business did not succeed and Chill Soda cans have not been available for customers, there were some pros that Chill Soda had.
Here is a list of a few pros:
- Chill Soda created their sodas organically, without any artificial ingredients or preservatives.
- These sodas were also high in antioxidant beta carotene and vitamin C.
- There were four exciting flavors to choose from.
Cons of Chill Soda
Chill Soda was never fully established as a business, so there is little we can discuss regarding the cons of these sodas.
Who Is Chill Soda For?
Chill Soda was launched and created for the general population to enjoy a healthy soda without feeling guilty.
Are There Any Other Alternatives?
The beverage industry is massive. The demand for sodas is high and a myriad of options are available for consumers. These include the following:
- Zevia Zero Calorie Soda
- Spindrift Lemon Sparkling Water
Although hopeful and determined when he appeared on Shark Tank, Dan Mackey failed to impress all but one Shark. He received criticism for his lack of professionalism, and understanding of the industry, among other things.
The Sharks knew that Chill Soda would fail ultimately because of a lack of direction and the demanding industry of beverages. Barbara, though found herself convinced enough to make a deal with Mackey, was inevitably disappointed when it was not fruitful.
Some businesses do great after Shark Tank even without making a deal, but Chill Soda proved that investment from Sharks does not mean guaranteed success for the business.