Cow Wow: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Some would agree that the best part of a bowl of cereal (particularly sweet, flavored kinds) is the milk that remains in the bottom of the bowl when the cereal is all gone. It's been flavored and often colored by the flakes, loops, or pebbles that have been soaking in it, and drinking it up is one final and tasty hurrah to breakfast. This is certainly how Christopher Pouy and Tiffany Panhilason feel about the delicacy, which is why they decided to make and market Cow Wow, a cereal milk-flavored beverage they brought to the "Shark Tank" table in 2014.

Cow Wow is essentially real, organic dairy in Tetra Pak cartons that's been flavored to taste like leftover cereal milk. Pouy and Panhilason brought four flavors to the show: Fruity Trudy, Chocolate Chip Cathy, Cinny Minny, and Peanut Butter Bessie. The duo introduced the product as a tasty drink for children and hoped to walk away with a $250,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake of the company.

What happened when Cow Wow appeared on 'Shark Tank'?

When Cow Wow appeared on "Shark Tank" in 2014, co-founder Christopher Pouy was dressed in a cow costume and proceeded to share how he and partner Tiffany Panhilason developed the company, which they marketed to children. He also told the story of "how the milk is made," which is basically that cows that eat breakfast cereal produce Cow Wow milk. 

There were some smiles but also eye rolls from the Sharks, which included Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary, and guest Shark Steve Tisch. After the panel of investors was given samples of the milk, there were generally mixed reactions. Tisch, a self-confessed cereal milk lover, stated that he scored the flavor as a "B," noting it wasn't sweet enough and didn't remind him of his favorite cereals.

O'Leary, aka "Mr. Wonderful," believed Cow Wow would be competing for fridge space in supermarkets, which he told the business owners was extremely expensive. Cuban saw Cow Wow as not nearly big or unique enough to compete with other flavored milks on the market and saw issues with the fact that schools attempted to ban flavored milks once upon a time believing it was bad for kids. John was not impressed by the sugar and calorie content in light of health issues and the efforts made against childhood obesity, and Greiner admitted she didn't like the drink and had no interest in investing in the product. Without any discussion of product costs or marketing, all of the Sharks quickly bowed out of negotiations.

The target audience of Cow Wow came into question

Perhaps things would have gone differently in the "Shark Tank" appearance if Cow Wow had rethought its target audience going into it. Although co-founder Christopher Pouy clearly saw the product as a kid's dream beverage, he also shared data about milk being marketed as the perfect hydration drink for athletes, a statement that was met with both surprise and disbelief from the Sharks. Indeed, according to an article by the New York Times in 2014 featuring Cow Wow, it appears the company had better success with a high school and college-aged audience than it did with young children, which begs the question: Was Cow Wow trying to sell to kids, athletes, or millennials?

Upon the company's launch in 2012, its success was initially looking positive; the milks were being sold in some convenience stores as well as amusement parks and the Los Angeles Zoo. Jimmy Kimmel raved about it on late night television, Cosmopolitan magazine featured the milk in an article as did BuzzFeed. Still, Cow Wow wanted to appeal to the kiddos. The problem was that mothers were simply not willing to shell out more money (Cow Wow costs about 20 cents more than other flavored milks) for something that also had more calories and sugar than other milks. It seemed that grown ups with nostalgic tastes and memories of eating bowls of cereal in front of Saturday morning cartoons were much more interested in the product than kids were.

Is Cow Wow still around?

As of the airing of the episode of "Shark Tank" in 2014, Cow Wow had made about $20,000 in sales and the products were being sold in eight Bristol Farms markets and three Albertson's test stores, with a lucrative deal with Kroger's on the horizon. Clearly, the company was becoming well known and enjoyed across the country, but as of today, the milks don't appear to be currently available from any retail outlets.

Based on photos and posts from the company's social media's pages showing women in bikinis wearing cow masks and grown men bathing in tubs of cereal, it appears that Cow Wow shifted gears by the latter half of 2014 and was attempting to appeal to an older audience  Since October 2014, however, there have been no new photos or updates on the company's Instagram and Facebook pages, and the company website is no longer available, so it can be assumed that Cow Wow is no longer being made or sold.

What are the founders of Cow Wow up to now?

Although Cow Wow seems to have closed its doors, it appears the founders are staying busy with other ventures. Chris Pouy has been an advertising executive for the past 20 years working on marketing campaigns for companies like Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, and Kia. He continues to be an entrepreneur as well having introduced a line of pet toys for rescue dogs and establishing a company that makes furniture out of used auto parts. He's currently making a documentary film about his late Russian grandmother as well.

Tiffany Panhilason has become a successful actress, appearing in such television shows as "The Mindy Project," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and "Jane the Virgin," and in films like "Mercenaries." She has also continued in entrepreneurship by co-founding Love Remedy, a line of natural essential oils that can be found in department stores.