Guzzle Buddy: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Wine products are no strangers to "Shark Tank." From the highly successful Copa Di Vino to the less fortunate Zipz Wine, numerous entrepreneurs on the show have tried to put a new spin on how people can enjoy this bottled drink. With so much complicated etiquette surrounding how to drink, order, and shop for wine, it only took time before someone had the idea to shake things up. So when Randy Rothfus and Jennifer Brick-Sullivan pitched the Guzzle Buddy, an attachable glass cup that allows people to drink wine straight out of the bottle, the Sharks were surely shocked.

Brick-Sullivan first got the idea for the Guzzle Buddy after watching an episode of the sitcom "Cougar Town." In the show, two of the cast members insert a glass cup over the opening of a red wine bottle and drink straight from it, calling their invention the "Guzzle Buddy." When Rothfus and Brick-Sullivan could not find anything resembling the fictional Guzzle Buddy, the two got in contact with a Chinese glass manufacturer and made the product a reality.

Shortly after its release in October 2016, the Guzzle Buddy became internet famous. Its online notoriety and humorous marketing allowed it to garner $1.4 million in less than a year after it went on the market. This allowed the Guzzle Buddy to land appearances on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "Live with Kelly," and then season 9, episode 18 of "Shark Tank." 

What happened to Guzzle Buddy on Shark Tank

While it may seem like a gag gift at first glance, the design of the Guzzle Buddy allows you to smell your wine as you chug from the bottle, which you normally can't do when drinking directly out of a bottle. These glasses are also quite durable, as they are made with borosilicate glass, a sturdy material most commonly found in laboratories. When Rothfus and Brick-Sullivan went on Shark Tank, they asked investors for $400,000 in exchange for a 10% stake.

Despite the massive success of the product, Randy Rothfus and Jennifer Brick-Sullivan did not receive universal acclaim from all of the Sharks. Mark Cuban backed out first, commenting that customers would still be drinking wine directly from a bottle. Robert Herjavec said he didn't like the beer variant for the Guzzle Buddy while Lori Greiner worried about how long this invention would stay relevant on the market.

Most of the Sharks ended up rejecting Rothfus and Brick-Sullivan's request. While they did not have a lot of options available, the two ended up accepting Daymond John's offer of $400,000 for a 25% share, even though John had initially balked at the valuation and briefly backed out of the bidding.

Guzzle Buddy after Shark Tank

Shortly after the Guzzle Buddy episode aired in January 2018, Google searches for the Guzzle Buddy skyrocketed. In an interview with the Twinning Store, Jennifer Brick-Sullivan said her business' appearance on Shark Tank drove up wholesale purchases for the glass cup. By 2018, the company had sold approximately $2 million worth of product. Guzzle Buddy's social media followers also rose in the aftermath of the show, and as of December 2023, the company has accounts over Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and X, formerly Twitter.

The price of the original Guzzle Buddy also went down from approximately $25 to around $15. There are also more variants of this product, such as a cup made for non-alcoholic children's drinks and a sturdier version of the original Guzzle Buddy that uses copolyester. You can also buy custom Guzzle Buddy glasses that feature drinking-related slogans on its website or popular online retailers such as Amazon.

Is Guzzle Buddy still in business?

Because of decreased prices and an expansion in inventory, Guzzle Buddy products have remained on sale long after its debut as well as its appearance on Shark Tank. Reviews for Randy Rothfus and Jennifer Brick-Sullivan's products remain overwhelmingly positive online, with many customers calling the Guzzle Buddy a fun novelty gift. The company also boasts a robust refund policy that allows customers to return items that are not damaged within 30 days of purchase.

Guzzle Buddy gets bragging rights for being the first company to sell glass cups that attach to wine bottles, but it no longer remains the only seller on the market. Competing glassware manufacturers have released their own versions of the glasses, and some even mirror Rothfus and Brick-Sullivan's iconic design. These products tend to have less variety than the Guzzle Buddy — and certainly not as much attention from the press and social media in the past. This allows Guzzle Buddy to remain purchasable amid growing competition.

What's next for Guzzle Buddy?

While Guzzle Buddy has remained afloat since 2016, Google Trends shows that interest in the notorious wine bottle topper has waned slowly over time. While sizable, the company's digital footprint does not have the massive following of more successful Shark Tank products such as the Scrub Daddy. Posts from 2023 are sporadic on TikTok, and its Instagram mostly reuses content from its other social media channels. Some of its other outlets, such as its YouTube account, appear abandoned, with its last video being released in January 2020.

Neither Randy Rothfus nor Jennifer Brick-Sullivan has made recent announcements about Guzzle Buddy or any new projects, but Guzzle Buddy remains active even with this decreased public presence. The company continues to be based in Oregon, and its brand products continue to be trademarked at time of publication. Now, the company just lacks the fame and public image it possessed in the mid-2010s.