In Season 5 of Shark Tank, the show introduced the world to Cow Wow, which was essentially milk flavored like a cereal. The creators were Chris Pouy and Tiffany Panhilason, who wanted to introduce flavored milk to stores everywhere.
The duo thought the milk choices currently available for children were too dull and wanted to bring another product into the mix. The product capitalized on an exciting idea. They believed the best part of eating cereal was the milk that remained in the bowl at its end. While it was a claim to make, they wouldn’t be wrong. The duo was inspired and driven, which led them to create this milk.
The structure used for the product was no different than any other flavored milk out there. The company resorted to creating single-serving milk boxes that could give children more choice regarding what milk they should drink. They talked about the health benefits of milk and how necessary it was for children to grow.
Children generally don’t enjoy the flavor of regular milk, and that’s what Puoy and Panhilason were banking on. Cow Wow was a way to convince children who were highly particular about drinking milk to at least try drinking it.
Cow Wow seemed unique as it had a notable flavor pairing. Cereal companies had not yet tried to make bank on cereal milk. Thus, Cow Wow would be wise to dive in and take the opportunity. The duo didn’t also seem to rely on the flavor entirely. They had developed and marketed the product to many. They also seemed to realize the market demands they were trying to sell into.
The creators entered the Shark Tank with extremely high hopes. They knew what they were looking for and the degree of investment they needed. They asked for $250,000 for 10%. The duo had prepared the product. They handed out the samples and started to make their pitch. The creators stated that one serving had 20 grams of sugar compared to the 14 grams of sugar in regular milk.
The sharks were entranced, and many agreed that everyone loved cereal milk. Daymond Johnson pulled out immediately because he was lactose intolerant and wasn’t a fan of flavored milk.
The duo informed the judges about their placement in Bristol Farms Grocery stores and Albertsons. It was a way for them to tell the Sharks they knew the business they needed. The pair went on to further expound on the fact that the milk didn’t have to be refrigerated but was kept in refrigerated aisles as it enhanced the flavor and made the drink more suitable.
Mark Cuban intervened at this point and told the creators that they were setting themselves up for failure. The brand’s competition was much too big. Big brands would have the resources and budgets to thwart the competition, so they could not go through with an offer.
Mark Cuban’s words seemed to resonate with the rest of the Sharks, too, and the pitch took a nosedive. Daymond John also was concerned about the obesity factor that the milk would bring about. So he couldn’t follow through. Lori and Steve gave their explanations for not being fond of the product and didn’t provide the creators with an offer.
Kevin was harsh and direct when he told the creators that they didn’t stand a chance because of the overcrowded milk market.
The company was not active after shutting down in 2014.
Our Review of Cow Wow
The Judges on Shark Tank seemed to have quickly shut down the idea of Cow Wow. However, there are positive and negative aspects to any product.
Pros of Cow Wow
It was a novel idea when it was introduced. No one had thought about making cereal milk into a product. It was something kids could enjoy and could be marketed as a luxury milk brand for children.
Cow Wow had all the health elements in place. The creators had already begun to put the milk in stores and started to see business. They had worked on making the flavor pleasant for children while still being a product that didn’t cause increased obesity. There was a fair bit of research that Cow Wow adhered to.
Cons of Cow Wow
While Cow Wow did try extremely hard to stand out, they lacked a lot of grit in terms of business acumen. They hadn’t done enough research to know how to market themselves. They weren’t aware of the realities of the milk market. It seemed like a pipe dream to the Sharks, which made sense.
The concept was novel. However, the creator’s approach to the product was all wrong. They thought getting the product out there was enough, but it wasn’t. They didn’t have a lactose-free version or something that vegans could drink. Their lack of research into market trends and restraints made them fail.
Their audience was children. However, the reality was that children often aren’t the ones paying. They managed to miss the mark in terms of product delivery.
Additionally, Cow Wow would never get the flavoring like cereal milk, which could be a disappointment.
The creators also thought that the Sharks were too old to understand the product, which stopped them from taking any of their valid criticism and coming up with a better product.
Who Is Cow Wow For?
Cow Wow is for everyone who ever enjoyed cereal milk growing. It is also for everyone who’s picky when getting calcium via milk. Cow Wow is a fun milk drink that will make your children want to drink milk without you having to beg for it. It’s also for adults who miss drinking cold cereal milk after eating it.
Are There Alternatives to Cow Wow?
As of 2021, Nestle collaborated with Kellogg’s and produced cereal milk that tasted exactly like Fruit Loops and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The flavors are available on Amazon, and people can easily buy them.
Cow Wow could have grown more prominent if they had listened to some of the Sharks’ advice on the show. They could have also responded to much criticism if they had picked a niche and provided the milk to its sellers. Many artisanal milk shops and organic grocery chains would have welcomed the flavored milk.