PipSnacks: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Jeff Martin, his wife Teresa, and his sister Jen founded PipSnacks in 2012 after Jeff had an epiphany of sorts while helping his sister move out of one apartment and into another in Chicago. Hungry after a long day of moving, Jeff and Jen found that a sole bag of popcorn kernels she'd bought was the only food that wasn't packed away, so the siblings made popcorn and discovered it was the best they'd ever had. Jeff did some digging and found that the kernels were heirlooms and grown by an Indiana farmer.

Using these kernels (which popped smaller and crunchier than many other brands), the siblings and Teresa began popping and packaging the popcorn that would come to name PipCorn and start selling the bags in Brooklyn, New York, and online. The same year they launched the brand, it ended up on Oprah's iconic Favorite Things list, bringing a massive amount of exposure to the company. It was actually "Shark Tank" that reached out to the family after learning of their entrepreneurial success. However, the family didn't think they were quite ready to go swimming with the sharks just yet so they declined. However, the following year, the show circled back around, and they accepted the invitation. In 2014, PipCorn entered the "Shark Tank," airing in season six, episode ten.

What happened on Shark Tank?

Per Daily Meal, Jeff, Jen, and Teresa asked for $200,000 in exchange for 10% of the PipCorn company so the Martin family could focus on expanding the business and investing in manufacturing equipment. In an interview posted on the PipSnacks blog, Teresa said walking away from the show without a deal was "out of the question." Shark Kevin O'Leary, also known as Mr. Wonderful, told the Martins he thought they were overestimating the value of the business and declared himself out of negotiations. But Barbara Corcoran, who's invested in many food companies over the years, disagreed. After minor bantering, Corcoran offered what the Martins were asking for but also said she wanted a 10% draw of whatever money they withdrew from the company.

With that, the Martins accepted the offer. On the company's blog, Jeff said the intent in going on the show was to strike a deal specifically with Barbara Corcoran. The family wasn't too interested in the exposure the show would undoubtedly result in. So the three Martins kept their focus on their goal, and believe that's what led to a successful negotiation.

What happened after Shark Tank?

On the night the PipCorn episode aired on "Shark Tank," orders were already coming in droves. In the 24 hours after the show aired, the company had 7,000 orders compared to the 26 orders they had in the previous three months. In the three months after the airing, sales grew 450%, surpassing $1 million. By 2016, PicCorn was in Whole Foods stores nationwide, giving millions access to the crunchy, mini popcorn. In 2017, the company expanded its flavor options and rebranded the following year.

In 2019, PipCorn went from being a popcorn company to a snack company specializing in heirloom corn and became PipSnacks. In addition to the original popcorn, the business began selling other snack foods like cheese balls, corn dippers, and crackers. Crunchies (similar to cheese curls) and crunchy twists were also added to their snack lineup. In 2020, the company went international and began selling in Canada, and in 2021, the Martins were invited back to "Shark Tank" to give an update on their business, which was still going strong.

Is PipSnacks still in business?

To date, PipSnacks is more popular than ever and available to more people than ever before. Its orders grew so much that it now has operations on both the East and West coasts, and you can find the products in Whole Foods, Kroger supermarkets, Target stores, and many other retailers. In addition, there is an Amazon storefront, and, of course, all of the snacks are available through the company website. There is even an option on the website to build your own bundle; you can customize snack packs of popcorn, cheese balls, twists, and more in various flavors.

Barbara Corcoran is featured occasionally on the company's Instagram page, tasting new products and raving about how tasty they are. She's not the only celebrity who enjoys the snacks; social media posts have shown Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian's kids munching on their favorites.

What's next for PipSnaks?

It appears that PipSnacks has found its rhythm in the snack world. It offers fantastic products that are widely available, new products and flavors are regularly introduced, and the company has a healthy social media presence. PipSnacks regularly shares the most current business information, like which retailers are offering sales, stores that have picked up the brand, sweepstakes and giveaways, and even recipes.

According to a press release relayed by Yahoo, the company now has over 25,000 distribution points (as of June 2023). PipSnacks continues to remind its customers that the great taste of all its products comes from the heirloom corn they are proud to utilize. CEO Joe DePetrillo said, "PipCorn gives consumers all the irresistible taste and crunch they expect from classic salty snacks, in a product they can feel good about eating. All of our heirloom snacks have only 100% real, Non-GMO ingredients."