In Season 7 of Shark Tank, Marques Brooks, Jovon English, and Naimah Harris pitched the idea of their company milk + brookies to the judges. Milk + Brookies was a food company that relied on people’s nostalgia for milk and cookies as a child to make the sales. Milk and brookies set themselves apart by using the term ‘Brookie .’ Brookie refers to a hybrid between brownie and cookie, so it’s got the crispiness from the cookie and the chewiness from the brownie wrapped in one to make a complete desert.
The novelty of the term brookie at the time was in trend with some of the other new ventures in the confectionary world. Brookie and Cronut are an amalgamation of the same trend of marrying two similar desserts, so Brooks, English, and Harris seem to have been banking on the same strategy.
What makes the Milk + Brookies company unique is its idea to mix brownies and cookies and pair them with Milk. The operation is simple and can be achieved by anyone, which is why so many people enjoyed the idea when it initially aired on Shark Tank. They also set themselves apart by localizing their reach. The Brookie was going to be a product native to LA and California.
The trio presented their product in front of the judges asking for $100K at 20%. The judges seemed impressed with the product, a hybrid of a cookie and a brownie baked into a muffin, but Mr. Wonderful felt they were too rich for adult consumers. All four judges ended up passing on the product though they all felt like something was there.
The Sharks felt the concept was too early to be made into a business in 2014. Barbara Corcoran liked the story the contestants offered. She was the first to say that she enjoyed the contestants’ personalities, but she couldn’t see herself investing in the product. Other judges like Mark were a little harsher, claiming that the product belonged in bake sales instead of in a business, which is why he, too, refrained from investing.
Mark was partially right with his assessment since contestants had already been selling at fairs and farmer’s markets before coming in. The exposure that Shark Tank exposure provided them allowed the sales to grow through the roof. After the episode aired, the sales increased by 3000%. As of March 2022, the company is still active and has products in Orleans and York. The annual revenue is about 3 million dollars, so while it is a small business, it has been one that stood the test of time and the pandemic. It’s majorly based online, making it safe from many extra expenditures.
Our Review of Milk + Brookies
We believe that the trio behind Milk + Brookies were truly visionaries at the time. However, the execution did not display the idea’s scale to its full potential.
Pros of Milk + Brookies
Milk + Brookies lends itself to childhood nostalgia. Everyone has had a story about eating cookies with Milk at some point in their lives, and the company capitalized on that. America is also large on sweet confectionaries, and the idea of the Brookie ties into the combination of desserts that, in 2014, was popping up all over America. New York has recently introduced the Cronut, followed by the Cruffin in San Francisco. So it only made sense for LA to have something like the Brookie.
The geographical association that the contestants tried to make with their food was a careful market strategy that must be commended. Milk + Brookies also established its presence online almost immediately. Doing so allowed them to be ahead of the internet game when the time came. They didn’t have a storefront and only targeted the LA area, so the expansion didn’t have to cost them a lot.
They introduced new flavors that suited the taste buds of many people. It also made sense for them to make cookies to order, which allowed them to save on any extra expenses and prevent waste. Milk + Brookies also positioned itself as a luxury item, so their sales had a huge profit margin.
Cons of Milk + Brookies
While it was quite a novel concept when they started, the Milk + Brookie concept could have been bigger. They could have made the concept gadget-like by introducing a brookie cup to drink the Milk out of. The cookie cup was already making the rounds in the early 2010s, so capitalizing on that idea with Milk + Brookies should have been the way to go about it. The execution of the Brookie also seems lazy to us. The idea of a brookie cupcake or a brookie muffin doesn’t lend itself to the aesthetic pleasure of a cookie or a brownie.
The look is almost pebble-like and largely unrefined. They still haven’t added anything new to the aesthetic in recent years. The packaging seems tacky and lacking, so their margins may be sustainable, but the growth isn’t present. They also ship over quite a while, so it may take up to a week or ten days to get your package. No one wants to eat brookies that are several days old.
Who is Milk + Brookies For?
Milk + Brookies is for those who still want to hold on to a part of their childhood. If you love baked goods and want to try something new for fun, then Milk + Brookies is the perfect brand for you. People who like being adventurous with their confectionaries can benefit from the product.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Yes, there are several alternatives for the Brookie now. You can even make these in the confines of your own home. All you need is an instant brownie, cookie mix, and an oven. Cookies and Brownies are not a difficult concept to wrap your head around, and many people have easily recreated them at home or in other eateries with their extensive menus.
Our Final Thoughts
We think you could take away from the product that it’s wonderful to be creative with a food product. The Brookie is a fun product that is very accessible. However, suppose the product was designed to generate a business. In that case, the creator should have been hastier with their copyrights and procedures so they could establish themselves as the novel creators of the Brookie.