Chicken Salt: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

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Before college buddies Khasha Touloei and Maynard Okereke appeared on "Shark Tank," few people in America had heard of chicken salt: an Australian seasoning that features savory hints of garlic, onion, and paprika. While the Southern Aussie food manufacturer Mitani initially envisioned it as a spice mix for rotisserie, the condiment has become the de facto item to sprinkle over fries in the Land Down Under.

With all the popularity behind chicken salt, it should be no surprise that someone would eventually try to bring it to an overseas market. Touloei ended up being that person, as he wanted to bring a low-sodium condiment to his patients while he finished his medical residency. He came up with Chicken Salt — a vegan, American version of his favorite childhood seasoning that had reduced amounts of salt. After teaming up with Okereke and making the first batch in his apartment kitchen, Touloei ended up with a hit. The product featured in news programs and even landed on the Food Network years before the two co-founders appeared in front of the Sharks, looking to strike a deal that would grow their business even further.

What happened to Chicken Salt on Shark Tank?

On Season 12, Episode 4 of "Shark Tank," Khasha Touloei and Maynard Okereke sought $250,000 in exchange for 20% of their company. After introducing themselves and their company, JADA Brands, the Sharks began to sample their chicken salt. The judges unanimously loved the products, with Barbara Corcoran noting that the vegan meat was indistinguishable from chicken. Touloei and Okereke further impressed the Sharks by noting that their business earned them $319,000 in 2019 and expected to make $500,000 that year.

Ultimately, excellent products and successful sales were not enough to persuade all the judges. Kevin O'Leary dropped out first, noting that both Touloei and Okereke already held full-time positions (the former as a dermatologist and the latter as an engineer). Daymond John did not offer a deal for similar reasons, also citing that the two did not fully know the challenges of the vegan meat market.

Corcoran, on the other hand, felt impressed by the entrepreneurs and offered the full $250,000 for a 33% stake in the business. With Mark Cuban (who's officially leaving the show soon) and Lori Greiner also backing out, Touloei and Okereke accepted Corcoran's offer and walked out of the stage triumphally.

Chicken Salt after Shark Tank

In just a few months after their appearance on "Shark Tank," Khasha Touloei and Maynard Okereke not only released their vegan chicken mix but landed a retail deal as well. In 2021, Sprouts Farmers Market, a specialty grocery chain that focuses on organic goods, temporarily sold JADA Brands products in stores.

It also seems that Touloei and Okereke took the advice of the judges, as vegan meats are now the star items of their business. The original website for the salt now redirects to the general JADA Brands page, which advertises the original dry protein mix that the Sharks adored before the rest of its products. In fact, the company not only released a Mediterranean and barbecue version of its chicken meat, but a vegan pork product as well. That doesn't mean that the two entrepreneurs have left the seasonings market, as their company continues to sell the spices that made them originally famous.

Is JADA Brands still in business?

To this day, Khasha Touloei and Maynard Okereke's chicken salt continues to make sales on Amazon and on the JADA Brands website. Its popular condiment hasn't gone off the radar either, as it appeared on "CBS Morning Deals" in August 2023. The spice remains in stock online where users are still leaving raving reviews on the product. One Amazon user went as far as to call the original chicken salt "the new family favorite."

Unlike previous "Shark Tank" companies that have neglected their social media accounts, such as Frywall or Heidi Ho, JADA Brands continues to post and garner an audience online. On Instagram alone, the company has over 15,000 followers, posting regular discounts and recipe ideas for its vegan meat products. Its Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter, accounts also remain relatively active, and it even has a TikTok account under its belt. One of its videos even received over 100k views, which was undoubtedly a big boost to the brand's visibility.

What's next for JADA Brands?

Despite the brand's active presence online, not much is known about the future of JADA Brands or its chicken salt products. No new product drops have been announced since the release of the company's meatless pork mix back in 2021, and it appears that neither Sprouts no longer stocks the vegan chicken as well. Still, the chicken salt continues to make sales on Amazon and H-E-B while Misfits Market (a marketplace designed to fight food waste) has even begun to stock JADA Brands items. That means that fans of this product don't have to worry about finding alternatives just yet, even if things appear to remain at a standstill.

As for Khasha Touloei and Maynard Okereke, the two are still a part of JADA Brands. Touloei continues to hold his position as a dermatologist but made an appearance in "The E-Comm Show," a podcast hosted by BlueTuskr CEO Andrew Maff, to talk about his continued involvement in the company back in 2022. Meanwhile, Okereke remains an acting COO of JADA Brands while continuing to be the face of Hip-Hop Science as well.