Back in the day, when we were kids, our mothers would slather peanut butter and jelly on toast, put it together, and call it a day for our lunch. However, as you grow up, you realize just how much that one childhood dish has impacted you. It is such a lasting impression that even today when you don’t want to fix up an elaborate lunch —peanut butter and jelly, it is.
Something similar happened to college roommates Keeley Tillotson and Ericka Welsh. The girls loved their peanut butter and would often enjoy making sandwiches or mixing things up with it. Soon they had the idea of making their own nut butters that are of different nut bases and flavors, allowing them more variety in taste.
It was an instant success, so they shared it with their friends. By this time, their college apartment had become famous for the nut butters, and friends would drop by often just to get a little snack. Everybody was so supportive that they pushed the entrepreneur duo to start their own business by selling these nut butters.
Fortunately, the popularity of their nut butter was so widespread in the locality that many Oregon and northwest markets were interested in their products. That’s how their humble beginnings got the much-needed boost as their business started to grow. And before anybody would have fathomed, they were expanding their product line.
They initially named their brand Wild Squirrel Nut Butter and came out with two new flavors: Vanilla Espresso and Chocolate Coconut. The butters were really nothing like your regular run-out-of-the-mill butters but much more clean, flavorful, and premium in their rich taste. Finally, it was time for mass production and distribution, for which the duo turned to Shark Tank.
Keeley and Ericka showed up at Shark Tank with a proposal of $50,000 in exchange for a 10% equity share in their business. They brought along their Wild Squirrel Nut Butter samples in all the delicious flavors they were offering then and hoped to blow the judges’ minds away. Moreover, they also had good enough numbers to back up their sales reputation.
However, it was heartbreaking when Daymond declared that he “isn’t a food guy” and immediately bailed. Likewise, Robert was skeptical if the girls would be able to manage college alongside a pretty hand-on business like Wild Squirrel Nut Butter, and so he too went out. Now the girls were at a loss of confidence, but they had two more judges to convince.
So they turned to them. However, Kevin was sure that the peanut butter market was insanely huge and won’t be welcoming of a smaller brand. He wasn’t willing to put all his eggs in one basket, although he was particularly fond of the girls’ innovative thinking. This meant only Barbera was left, and she didn’t have a reputation that made her the judge those girls wanted.
However, they weren’t left with any choice, and so Barbera threw the number she liked, which was $50k for 40% equity. Now, this meant either Barbara’s proposal or no funding at all. Even then, the girls tried to bring her down to 35% before eventually succumbing to the ridiculous number because they needed the funding and then being turned down empty-handed.
Fortunately, even though the girls agreed to Barbara’s deal on camera, it caused an uproar of negotiations off-camera, allowing them to change their minds. And so the girls went to the business alone – as they should have. However, Shark Tank gave them much-needed exposure with people demanding to try out their products.
That’s when another peanut butter company, Squirrel Brand, sued them for copyright infringement. So they changed their name from Wild Squirrel Nut Butter to Wild Friends and launched their official website Wild Friends Foods. This allowed them to expand and explore more food options apart from nut butters, and predictably, it was a huge success.
Wild Friends was there around the country on every shelf. Whether it was Whole Foods, Costco, Walmart, or Kroger, you’d find the lineup from Skippy and Jif to Wild Friends all together. The huge and timely success allowed Wild Friends to bring some exceptional people on board to look after their sales and marketing.
As of June 2022, Wild Friends’ annual revenue is over $14 million.
Our Review of Wild Squirrel Nut Butter (Wild Friends)
Wild Friends (formerly known as Wild Squirrel Nut Butter) has really revamped its brand and amplified its product line ten times than it was initially. They include a lot more flavors and even diet-friendly products like Cinnamon Crunch Keto-friendly Nut Butter. However, we wanted to try multiple flavors at value, so we were fortunate to get a 3-pack.
It includes three jars of different flavors: Honey Pretzel, Cinnamon Raisin, and Chocolate Coconut. It is safe to say; that we will surely try more flavors and restock on these once we are finished because these are some of the most delicious and flavorsome nut butters we have tried in a long time.
Pros of Wild Squirrel Nut Butter (Wild Friends)
- A multitude of flavor offerings.
- Great serving sizes, including jars, nut butter cups, and single servings.
- Budget buy with three-pack offerings.
- Choose between Classic Creamy, Crunchy, or Chunky.
- Ketogenic diet-friendly
- Highly rated and reviewed premium nut butters and spreads.
Cons of Wild Squirrel Nut Butter (Wild Friends)
- Not easily available outside of the United States.
Who Is Wild Squirrel Nut Butter (Wild Friends) For?
Wild Squirrel Nut Butter, now known as Wild Friends, is for anyone and everyone. They haven’t particularly advertised it targeting any niche whatsoever. In fact, it does not even specifically target children. Instead, they have made the nut butter delicious enough to be well-loved by everyone, including children and adults.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Naturally, there are plenty of alternatives because so many brands make peanut butters, nut butters, and spreads that it is a thriving industry on its own at this point. Therefore, you can visit your nearest grocery store and see how many alternate options you have if you really don’t want to try Wild Friends (Wild Squirrel Nut Butter).
Our Final Thoughts
Wild Squirrel Nut Butter, now Wild Friends, is definitely a household name after Skippy and Jif. The product certainly made its mark in the peanut butter industry and took their college-student bosses to a higher level. Looking back, it can be said that the Shark Tank judges really bit the dust with this one by letting it go and Barbera trying to take advantage of the girls.