Cave Shake Before Shark Tank
A few years ago, Cave Shake Founder Billie Cavallaro and CEO Holly Heath created a ready-to-drink, low-carb shake that’s free of dairy, gluten, and sugar. They were using personal experience and ingenuity to get ahead of what was about to become one of the biggest diet and nutrition fads in modern memory: the Keto diet.
As if creating a miracle drink with zero sugar, zero carbs and zero dairy weren’t impressive enough, they also thought to give it a cute, clever name: Cave Shake, a nod to the drink’s Keto-friendly, Paleo-friendly ingredients. (In other words, it’s safe for even our cave-dwelling ancestors to drink.)
The shake was available in four flavors and was intended to be used as either a meal replacement or a snack/dessert. On Season 10, Episode 4 of Shark Tank, Billie and Holly take their delicious diet drink to the Sharks for help. They’re asking for a cool $250,000 in exchange for 10% of their business.
Cave Shake on Shark Tank
Shark Tank Season 10 Episode 4
When Billie and Holly entered the Tank they were full of enthusiasm. They performed a skit and song about fighting cravings and sugar-crashes, and claimed that Cave Shake would boost your energy and allow you to have a treat that wouldn’t interfere with your Keto diet. They then passed around samples of their coconut-milk-based beverage. Some, Like Lori, were pleased with the taste, but Robert asked why it tasted funny to him. Holly explained that it was sweetened with Stevia, and if you’re not used to Stevia products, you may not enjoy it. Billie stated that only 1 in 100 people weren’t fond of the Stevia taste.
Robert asked how many calories were in the drink. When Billie told them it was 480 per serving, that got a laugh. Holly started to say that you shouldn’t worry about the calories, and the Sharks laughed again. But Billie explained that they were calories from healthy plant-based fats, and that they “trick” your body to enter fat-burning mode. (This fat-burning mode is called ketosis, and it’s well-documented.)
It was time to talk about about the numbers. Cave Shake retailed for $7.99 per jar and its cost averaged $1.86 across all of the flavors. They were currently selling only in Southern California, in specialized health food stores. In 2017, sales were $270,000, and to-date 2018 sales were $182,000.
Billie and Holly were asked about their backgrounds and why they were inspired to create the shake. Billie told them that she used to be a hard-core sports person and, specifically, a ski racer, and that a keto lifestyle helped her deal with inflammation. Holly admitted that after she was in a car accident, Keto helped her body heal.
Kevin questioned their $2.5 million valuation. That’s when Billie mentioned that they were partnered with an incubator – LA Libations – that was affiliated with Coca-Cola. With the support of the incubator, they were on track to make an additional $750,000 that year. Holly started to say that the incubator was a strategic partner, but guest-Shark Charles Barkley wanted to know what the two gave up to be a partner with the incubator. Holly admitted they offered 15%. Mark thought that was a lot to give to an incubator and wondered why the company needed help from the Sharks. Billie felt it was important to work with a number of smart people to help with decision-making, but Mark asked her why he should provide cash to a company that would offer him less equity than a company who hadn’t given them any money at all.
Kevin interrupted and asked if there was a royalty clause in their incubator deal. Holly said the incubator would receive a commission on the sales they bring in over $10,000, but couldn’t express how much they owed the incubator in commissions. Kevin didn’t like that another company was getting a royalty for free, when he would get no commision for a $250,000 investment. He was out.
Robert spoke up and said he didn’t like the taste of the product and he found the branding confusing. He dropped out, as well. Mark thought it seemed like too much work, so he was the third Shark to pass. And Lori said she preferred to eat her calories rather than drink them, so she opted out.
That left Charles, who wondered if Cave Shake contained the ingredients necessary to produce energy for playing sports. Billie said the drink was loaded with MCTs, which are great for providing fuel. Charles told the pair he would give them $250,000 for 20% of the company. Billie asked if he would come down to 14%, but Charles thought his offer was fair, considering they had already given the incubator 15% for no money at all. He explained that he was interested in investing because he had always struggled with his weight, and wanted to support a product that helps people lose weight. He felt that it was a priority for him to invest in good people. “I like you two,” he said.
Holly still wanted him to lower his percentage, and asked if 20% was his final offer, but Charles wasn’t going to budge. Holly still seemed hesitant because she didn’t want to give that much away, but Billie really wanted to work with an athlete like Charles Barkley. Holly gave in, and the two accepted the offer.
Cave Shake After Shark Tank
Cave Shake has gone on to be one of Shark Tank’s success stories – albeit under a different name. Cave Shake is now Space Shake.
Though the company’s website is live, and the business remains operational, Space Shake’s press and retail location sections are blank – not a great sign.
When Holly and Billie appeared on the show they stated that their relationship with LA Libations had just begun. Soon after they filmed, the incubator helped them earn shelf space at Whole Foods – although geographic distribution within the chain is uncertain. Demand in California continued to ramp up after the episode aired, and the owners were working with LA Libations to expand beyond the Southern California area, and to build an infrastructure for scaling. Currently, they still retail only in Southern California, but you can buy them on Amazon, which delivers everywhere.
The company made a number of changes to the product since it was introduced on Shark Tank. It ditched the strawberry flavor, changed packaging from a jar to a pouch, and reduce the serving size calories – first down to 320, and now, 210. That will probably encourage more people to consume it as a snack rather than a meal replacement. Speaking of snacks, the company has developed a bar and is working on a smaller snack-sized container for the beverage.
But there’s a major change that doesn’t appear to have been addressed in marketing materials: Cave Shake changed its name to Space Shake as a condition of the deal made with Barkley. But what does the name mean? It isn’t explained anywhere – even on the FAQ or About pages on the website.
Reviews are very positive on the company’s website (well, of course) but the limited number of reviews on Amazon are mixed. On Facebook, the company’s score is only 2.6 out of 5, and although the brand has over 21,000 followers on Instagram, engagement is minimal.
Maybe once the brand has better distribution, it will gain more traction – but in a crowded nutritional-drink market, Space Shake will have to find a unique way to distinguish itself from its competitors.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Cave Shake, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.