How often have you shouted at your kids sitting at the dinner table to eat their food? Yet, when you look up from your plate, the side of veggies is at is, and the chicken piece seems to be missing a few chunks.
Children like to play with food, which is something that will never change. Can anything be done about it? YES!
Meet dad-preneurs Bob Nytoya and Adam Gerber, who came up with the idea of edible stickers through My Fruity Faces, which were introduced on Shark Tank. On April 29, 2016, Bob and Adam stood before the Sharks and told them how they could make kids eat a healthy diet. Episode 724 was full of groans because the Sharks couldn’t believe how much money the dads had invested in the business and the amount of debt accumulated.
So, what exactly are My Fruity Faces?
Stickers are fun, tactile craft supply, right? Why not make them edible? According to a study by Cornell University, pairing fruits and vegetables with cartoon stickers encourages children to eat a healthy diet. My Fruity Faces took the findings of the study and took it to the next level. They created stickers in different food shapes that are all-natural, gluten-free, and have zero calories. Made of tapioca starch, the stickers can be pasted on real fruits and veggies, making them more appealing.
Are They Still An Active Company?
After their appearance on Shark Tank, Bob and Adam were able to secure a deal with Walmart. Their agreement with Nickelodeon had already given them an opening into the market. However, they were forced to set aside their brand inventory when their license expired.
Currently, they are in talks with a couple of party stores, grocery chains, food service companies, and big-box stores. Their commercial helped build product awareness and was received well by the public. However, according to their Twitter profile, they haven’t made an appearance anywhere since 2019, and they no longer sell on Amazon.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
To Say Adam and Bob weren’t impressed with My Fruity Face’s pitch would be an understatement. Both contestants came on set with two kids who were part of the demonstration. Their demand was $200,000 for a 10% stake in the company. Bob started the speech, which was all over the place, leading Adam to take over. He told a tale of kids returning home from school with mushy and rotten Ziploc lunch bags. They then pasted stickers on fruits and handed them over to the kids, who ate them with fake excitement.
The pitch didn’t impress the Sharks, and so the questioning began. Kevin asked how much they had made so far, to which Adam replied $125,000 in three years. Hearing the numbers made Mark almost choke on the watermelon he was eating. Their monthly sales amounted to $2,000, which was not at all impressive.
When the Sharks learned that My Fruity Faces had no purchase orders, they groaned in unison. The company was currently in talks with several stores, but no agreement had been made yet. So far, $482,000 had been invested in the company. After a quick calculation, Kevin told Bob they were $177,000 in debt.
At this point, Kevin and Mark backed out. Daymond and Barbara wanted to know more about the investors, and when he learned that Bob and Adam had a 35.5% stake in the company, they backed out because of how unsure the future returns looked.
In the end, Mark told the business owners that their execution was not well-thought, and before they invested more in the company, they needed to make some hard fixes.
Even though the idea appealed to the Sharks, they all backed out because Adam and Bob were already in debt. They had $4,000 in their account, $64,000 worth of stickers, and no place to sell. Even if they did manage to sell out, the money would go into paying the debt, and they would be back to square one: No inventory. Moreover, they offered a small stake in the company, which the Sharks didn’t like.
Our Review of My Fruity Faces
The idea of edible stickers is intriguing, but believing it would make kids eat their fruits and vegetables is a little hard to digest. The reason why most children avoid eating vegetables is that they don’t like their taste. Fruits get sidelined because there are yummier snacks available.
Certain foods trigger your behavior. For example, after seeing a can of fruit cocktail, you might start craving something sweet and reach for sugary snacks. This distorts your perception, and as a result, you see other food as healthy. Keeping this in mind, we can say that My Fruity Faces is on to something.
Pros and Cons of My Fruity Faces
Pros My Fruity Faces
- Zero calories
- Unique and fun
- No artificial flavors or colors
- They dissolve quickly
Cons My Fruity Faces
- Limited sticker designs
- Dissolve quickly
Who Are My Fruity Faces For?
The primary target market for My Fruity Faces is Parents and Children. Moms can make snack-time fun by telling the kids to paste the stickers on their cut-up fruits before eating.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Sticky Lickits has the same mission as My Fruity Faces: To get kids to eat more vegetables and fruits. This company’s idea was based on an NIH study’s findings that children born after 2000 have a shorter lifespan due to unhealthy food choices.
Sticky Lickits also offers different fruits and vegetable stickers, as well as cartoon stickers.
Our Final Thoughts
Despite the Sharks saying “no” to investing in My Fruity Faces and telling Bob and Adam that $2 for four stickers was too much, the dad-preneurs still kept working on their idea. Today, their stickers are sold at double the price and are available online and in a few select Walmart stores. The owners are close to achieving their dream of selling the stickers in other big stores.