Jackson’s Honest is a snack business born out of the real-life struggle of parents Megan and Scott Reamer. Their business’s name and ethos are inspired by their first-born child Jackson. Though he was born as a healthy baby, Jackson soon developed muscle weakness after a few years, and he used to cry quite a lot and could not sleep properly. The doctors struggled to diagnose him but suggested changing his diet to alleviate his symptoms. Through trial and error, the parents discovered that Jackson benefited greatly from a diet high in good fats and low carbs. The primary source of good fat they found was coconut oil. Thus, the parents took a tragic circumstance in their life and used it positively to start a business called Jackson’s Honest. A range of all-natural tortilla chips fried in coconut oil. A product they used to make for their son was then manufactured to benefit people’s diets all over the US.
Jackson’s Honest focuses on its product’s use of coconut oil and makes it its main selling point. The difference between coconut oil and regular cooking oils is that coconut oil maintains its molecular integrity at extremely high temperatures. This helps the chips avoid any oxidative damage and related health issues. The potatoes used in the chips are also exclusively non-GMO, which makes them a healthier alternative to regular potato chips.
Jackson, unfortunately, passed away in the year 2017, but the business remains thriving as a tribute to his life. When the company first appeared on Shark Tank, it had already managed to secure shelf space with retail giants like Whole Foods. The TV appearance helped the business even further, estimated to be worth around $10 million. The products have overwhelmingly positive reviews, and people clearly appreciate these chips’ less synthetic taste. The company is now introducing its new line of grain-free puffs to continue its mission of introducing healthy and natural snacks.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Megan and Scott Reamer had a video package on the show explaining the thought behind the business and their son’s diagnosis of a rare auto-immune condition called the Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome. As they entered their Shark Tank pitch, the audience was already endeared to the entrepreneurs and their incredible story. However, their quiet, steely confidence is enough to intrigue the Sharks.
The husband-wife duo introduced their business of a range of tortilla chips and asked for $1.25 million for a 5% stake in their company. This extremely optimistic valuation raised some eyebrows among the Sharks, but they continued to listen as they were intrigued to find whether the business did live up to its valuation.
The couple told the Sharks about the benefits of coconut oil and how their ultimate mission was to disrupt the $20 billion snack industry by providing healthy alternatives to their products. Due to their son’s condition, the couple witnessed how critical good fats were in diet, and their chips first started as a snack option in their house for their son, and later they turned it into a business. The Sharks were visibly moved by their story and impressed that the parents had produced a successful business out of what would normally be debilitating circumstances for anyone else.
Robert Herjavec related his personal story of his son going to the hospital and commended the couple on their determination. Megan Reamer shed a few tears, which made the entire pitch quite somber yet hopeful. The couple also handed out samples to the Sharks, which the Sharks loved. There were appreciative murmurs about the chips, and the Sharks said the product tasted excellent.
The Sharks were impressed by both the product and the couple’s background. However, they wanted to know about the financial side of the business. Guest Shark Rohan Oza asked the couple about their sales. They revealed that they had done $10 million in sales in the last year. The Sharks acknowledge the solid numbers. However, knowing the cut-throat nature of the grocery sector, Mark Cuban asked whether the business was profitable. Scott Reamer told him the business was not profitable due to spending on aspects like shelf space and keeping up with the demand by restocking their inventory. The company had lost around $1.9 million, and they had raised $3 million through friends and family.
Despite the great product and background, the Sharks were less than impressed by the numbers. Robert Herjavec was the first Shark to pull out of negotiations, citing his concerns about the business’s profitability. Lori Greiner declined to make an offer as she preferred baked chips. Mark Cuban was next to go as he did not see the profit margins growing as they should after his investment. Barbara Corcoran emphasized that grocery stores eat businesses alive, and she did not see the business as a viable investment. She also declined to make an offer.
This left the couple with Rohan Oza as the last option. Oza was interested in the business but struggled with the valuation. He reminded the couple how he had helped build several famous food and beverage brands and made an offer quite different from the original one. He offered $1.25 million for 20% of the company. The couple was perplexed as they thought the equity was too big to give away. After several counter offers between Oza and the Couple, the two agreed on $1.25 million for 15% of the business. The couple left their pitch with a deal they were very excited about.
Our Review of Jackson’s Honest
Jackson’s Honest is a product that lives up to its claims. It does not necessarily tout itself as a healthy superfood but instead claims to be a healthier alternative to an everyday snack. Its use of coconut oil gives the chips a distinct flavor, and many people prefer it to the synthetic aftertaste found in many regular chips on the market. Overall, the product is excellent. However, ironing out a few issues can hugely benefit it to make the product an actual household name.
Pros of Jackson’s Honest
- Uses coconut oil which retains its molecular integrity and high temperatures, thus, healthier than other cooking oils.
- Uses domestic non-GMO potatoes, giving the chips a natural taste
- Eye-catching packaging
- Available in a range of flavors
- Does not use any additives or preservatives
Cons of Jackson’s Honest
- Price point might be too steep for a snack, thus, limiting its market.
- The natural flavor can be unpleasant to people with unaccustomed palates.
Who Is It For?
Jackson’s Honest is a snack that is a universally loved type of food. Therefore it is not restricted to any demographic. However, its approach to the ingredients being all-natural is likely to attract a health-conscious clientele. Its availability in retail outlets such as Whole Foods also restricts its market to young, health-conscious, and relatively financially privileged people who can afford to splurge a bit on snacks.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Several brands have introduced health chips on the market, boasting natural ingredients. These products frame themselves as alternatives to the industry giants, such as Lays, but focus on health. Some of these brands are:
- Made in Nature
Jackson’s Honest is a great example of entrepreneurship helping people make the best out of challenging situations. Reamer’s determination to make their business succeed worked as it is now a multi-million venture still thriving and producing new product ranges. Jackson’s Honest is now just called Jackson’s.