Genius Juice: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Genius Juice produced organic coconut smoothies made with the entire fruit, both the coconut milk and its meat, avoiding other artificial ingredients (or, as the brand states, "no dumb stuff"). You might recognize the smoothie bottles and the Albert-Einstein-esque coconut head logo from the shelves at your local grocery store.

But if you're a fan of "Shark Tank," you may remember the business from its pitch in Season 11 — which company founder Alex Bayer completed with a full song routine (backup singers included). The product was born from a "genius idea" Bayer had while holding a coconut in his kitchen —to use the whole coconut in a smoothie and only a handful of other natural, healthy ingredients.

Before the ""Shark Tank" episode, Genius Juice had launched in Whole Foods Market in 2015 and expanded to over 1,000 stores throughout the U.S. with very successful year-over-year growth. When Bayer pitched the idea to the sharks, several fought for a piece of the company; in the end, Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran teamed up to make an offer Bayer accepted. But did the deal stick, and where is the company now?

What happened to Genius Juice on Shark Tank?

On the "Shark Tank" episode, the Genius Juice founder explained (through song) that the smoothies use "everything but the shell" of the coconuts, which go from tree to bottle in just five hours. The product caught the sharks' attention because it was doing something novel in the smoothie space, and on top of that, the low-calorie, clean-ingredient, zero-waste drink tasted delicious.

The sharks' main concern was the competitiveness of the beverage industry and the fact that the drinks required refrigeration to be made, which could impede the product's scalability. But two sharks bit simply because the product tasted so good — Barbara Corcoran called it the best coconut she's ever had. She offered $250,000 for 14% equity, and Kevin O'Leary offered the same amount for 7% equity in the form of a loan with interest.

Bayer was more interested in Corcoran's deal and countered with 11% equity. But Mark Cuban jumped in to team up with Corcoran, and together they offered an investment of $250,000 each in exchange for 25% equity. At double the amount of his original ask, Bayer took the deal.

No deal: Genius Juice after Shark Tank

After such a successful pitch and a verbal acceptance of the deal with Corcoran and Cuban, soon after the episode, the deal fell through. According to an interview with Forbes, in the end, Bayer didn't feel the terms were the right fit for the company: "We decided to fundraise to leverage our exposure from the 'Shark Tank' episode in which the brand gained significant attention."

"Significant attention" might be an understatement — Genius Juice sold $120,000 of product online within the first 24 hours after the episode and saw a revenue increase of over 200% in the quarter following the show. Thanks to its exposure on "Shark Tank," the brand gained colossal traction and raised $1.1 million in funding that year through a combination of angel investors and WeFunder efforts.

The brand continued expanding its products and distribution. The smoothies launched in larger retail stores like Target, Costco, Walmart, and Albertsons, and the brand increased its marketing efforts to include brand ambassador partnerships with NBA and WNBA players. The core smoothie line became available in over 2,000 stores in original coconut, mocha, and vanilla cinnamon, and the company also offered a subscription service. It underwent a slight rebrand and upgraded packaging to reflect a more sophisticated product and appeal to a broader health-focused audience.

Is Genius Juice still in business?

The brand launched and closed a round of funding via Republic, where the company stated that it had reached $8 million in lifetime revenue. Genius Juice predicted that it would break even in 2023, and projected another $6 million in sales for 2023 and nearly $10 million for 2024. Between continued growth and scalability, and ongoing wider marketing efforts, the brand targeted an exit of $80M to $90M by 2025. The Republic campaign wound up receiving over $30,000 in investments when it ended in March 2023.

After launching a plant-based protein smoothie line, which didn't work out, the brand launched a new line of products to expand its selection: Genius Boost Wellness Shots. This chocolate-based product included functional mushrooms to enhance energy, mood, and focus. The company also aimed to sell its first-ever value-sized packages of 32-ounce smoothies.

Unfortunately, Genius Juice fell on hard times. In late 2023, Alex Bayer shared a photo of himself in front of a store's supply of Genius Smoothie products and announced on LinkedIn, "We shut down the production, and sold the last of it to our distributors and outlet stores at a discount." He explained that his company's smoothies are "on hold indefinitely due to several core issues with the business model and supply chain." According to Bayer's LinkedIn profile, he now focuses  on crowdfunding consulting, being a Naturally LA board member, and his podcasts, "CPG Vibes" and "15 Minutes of Genius."