Barbara Corcoran's 'Shark Tank' Co-Stars Begged Her Not to Invest in Chill Soda

Dan Clarendon - Author
By

Jan. 28 2022, Published 4:39 p.m. ET

What’s the update on Chill Soda? The Shark Tank brand was billed as a “healthy soda revolution,” offering carbonated beverages with less sugar and fewer calories than the usual vending-machine offerings.

In Shark Tank’s first season, Chill Soda found a big fan in investor Barbara Corcoran. “I love having a soda I can actually feel good about giving to my kids, and best of all, my kids loving drinking it,” she says in a quote on the Chill Soda website.

Article continues below advertisement

Unfortunately, Chill Soda seems to be one of the many Shark Tank failures. The Chill Soda website looks the same now as it did in 2015, with the same notice that the online Chill Soda store was “coming soon.”

Meanwhile, The Shark Tank Blog reports Chill Soda is out of business, and the same blog’s Chill Soda recap states that Corcoran lost her investment in the company.

Founder Dan Mackey admitted on the show that he didn’t “know that much” about the beverage industry.

Chill Soda founder Dan Mackey’s Shark Tank pitch started well, at least. Mackey came on the ABC reality show seeking an investment of $50,000 for 10 percent equity in his company. He told the sharks that Chill Soda is organic and low-glycemic and features anti-oxidants but no high-fructose. “But the best thing? It tastes like regular soda,” he added. “It is good.”

Better yet, the sharks seem to like the taste of the Chill Soda samples Mackey handed out.

Article continues below advertisement

But then Mackey didn’t know the answer when Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary asked him what the “ultimate leverage of success for all players in the beverage industry” is. (O’Leary’s answer: Distribution.)

Mackey explained that he had a distributor that had bought 250,000 cans of the product—getting him $175,000 in sales—adding that the distributor had a relationship with the beverage management company Mackey used.

Article continues below advertisement

And what’s a beverage management company, you might ask? “They are consultants … because I don’t know that much about the beverage industry,” Mackey confessed.

Cue the moans and groans from the sharks. “What are you doing here?” a confused O’Leary asked Mackey.

“That’s not something you should have just said to me,” Shark Tank star Daymond John chimed in.

John and his co-stars Kevin Harrington and Robert Herjavec opted out of the opportunity almost immediately, and O’Leary wasn’t far behind.

Corcoran took a chance on Chill Soda anyway.

For her part, Corcoran said in that Shark Tank episode that she appreciated the product and she liked Mackey’s honesty.

Cue the moans and grans from the other sharks. “Barbara, please don’t give this guy any money!” O’Leary said, as he and the other Shark Tank stars begged her not to make a deal.

Nevertheless, Corcoran offered Mackey $50,000 for 20 percent of the company — over the vehement objections of her co-stars—and Mackey happily accepted.

“You’re gonna be surprised!” Mackey told his doubters on the show. “You’re gonna be so surprised.”

And Corcoran was feeling optimistic, too. “I can’t wait to show you my profits,” she told the other sharks.

Well, you can’t win them all!

Advertisement

Latest Shark Tank News and Updates

    Market Realist Logo

    © Copyright 2022 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.