ABS Protein Pancakes: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

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Ashley Drummonds appeared on Season 7, Episode 12 of "Shark Tank" with a business she hoped would revolutionize breakfast for fitness enthusiasts like herself. As a personal trainer, Drummonds was tired of the usual food options presented to those on fitness programs. "It's all protein bars and protein shakes and bland, boring food," she told Business Observer, adding that she felt like she had to "deprive myself of anything that I enjoy, food-wise, six days per week."

Hoping to come up with a tasty solution herself, Drummonds used her passion for baking and began experimenting with her favorite breakfast food: pancakes. She tested various protein powders and natural ingredients until she found a recipe for the perfect pancakes.

Soon, the entrepreneur started handing out single-serve bags of her mixes to interested clients who missed their favorite food as much as she did. But as word spread, the idea for a full-fledged pancake mix company called ABS (an acronym for Authentic Beauty and Strength) Protein Pancakes took shape. Drummonds began taking orders on social media, and then prepped and packed the pancake blends in her own kitchen — all while still working as a personal trainer during the day. At the time of its inception in 2014, ABS Protein Pancakes was selling no more than 20 orders per week; by the time it appeared on "Shark Tank" in 2016, however, the company had scaled to $100,000 in lifetime sales.

What happened to ABS Protein Pancakes on Shark Tank

Ashley Drummonds walked into "Shark Tank" with her partner Josh McClelland seeking a $120,000 investment in return for a 40% stake in her gluten-free pancake mixes, which were made from all-natural ingredients such as coconut flour and stevia. The duo told the Sharks that a stack of four pancakes packed 24 grams of protein and contained no more than 250 calories — considerably lower than the 430 calories that a serving of two regular pancakes can have.

However, not everyone was an immediate fan of the pancakes. Daymond John noticed an aftertaste from the stevia, and the texture was critiqued as being too dry. Plus, the Sharks were not thrilled about the hefty price tag either. Each bag contained enough mix for 40 light and fluffy pancakes, but cost between $12 and $14 to manufacture, and sold for $42.95 — a staggering revelation that didn't go down well with the panel. "I can eat these pancakes or buy a car," joked O'Leary.

The Sharks backed out in quick succession, leaving the entrepreneurs with a lone offer from Robert Herjavec, who wanted half of the company for the investment. Though Herjavec reduced his initial ask to 49% after some nudging from the Sharks, it was the surprising return of John that sealed the deal for the two founders. Ultimately, Drummonds and McClelland shook hands with John, who came on board for a 42% stake in ABS Protein Pancakes.

ABS Protein Pancakes after Shark Tank

After leaving the Tank, Ashley Drummonds and Josh McClelland underwent due diligence with Daymond John — a process during which the Shark's team pored over ABS Protein Pancakes' finances before finalizing the official terms of the deal. John formally came on board once the process was completed, and the entrepreneurs then geared up for the airing of their episode. However, nothing could have prepared them for the profound effect of appearing on "Shark Tank."

Drummonds was ready to deal with the increased traffic of customers on her website, and had two teams working to make sure that nothing went wrong. Despite the prep, however, the company's website crashed multiple times as the episode aired across different time zones. The entrepreneur even reported having as many as 35,000 customers shopping on the website at one point. In fact, there was so much exposure that ABS Protein Pancakes made more in one month than it had the entire previous year.

However, the spike in sales was only a short-term phenomenon. Drummonds told Shopify that several entrepreneurs on the show suffer from what they call "postpartum 'Shark Tank.'" The show generated a lot of interest and publicity for ABS Protein Pancakes, but it all came to a stop six weeks later. "It immediately just stops," Drummonds told Shopify. "It'll stop. Sales will stop completely for a solid month, and it's really weird."

Is ABS Protein Pancakes still in business?

Although ABS Protein Pancakes' Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Swirl, and Vanilla Cake Batter mixes are available on Amazon for $39.95 a bag, the company's current status is rather ambiguous. The protein mixes were supposed to be launched on Shop.com after "Shark Tank," but no such product is listed on the online marketplace. The pancake mixes are no longer listed on ABS Protein Pancakes' website either, and its Instagram account has been dormant since May 2022. Ashley Drummonds' LinkedIn page indicates that she stepped down as the company's founder and CEO in 2022. On the flip side, Josh McClelland's page reveals that he parted ways with the company much earlier, in 2017, and now works in the car sales industry.

Although there's no clarity on what ABS Protein Pancakes is up to at present — or whether it is officially out of business — Drummonds did admit that she took a break from her business at one point after "Shark Tank" aired. She confessed to feeling drained and tired on the "It's Okay To Take A Break" podcast, adding that she needed time off to reevaluate her business and decide whether she even wanted to be an entrepreneur any longer. Although Drummonds did rejoin the company sometime later, her brief hiatus could very well have played a role in the company's current uncertain status. Or perhaps, it could be that ABS Protein Pancakes simply never quite bounced back from the lull that came after "Shark Tank."

What's next for ABS Protein Pancakes?

Ashley Drummonds had great plans for ABS Protein Pancakes: She wanted to roll out more seasonal flavors for her pancake mixes, as well as release vegan versions alongside the gluten-free ones. She also hoped for ABS Protein Pancakes to hit the $1 million mark in terms of sales. However, more important than anything else was her desire to have a positive impact on people's relationship with their bodies and the food they ate.

Although the entrepreneur bid farewell to the protein pancake mixes and her vision for their future, she is still active in the health and food industry. Drummonds works as a fitness and nutrition coach, offering one-on-one online and offline training. She is also the author of several nutrition and fitness books, and hosts her own podcast, "Phoenix Rising Podcast," which educates listeners on similar topics.

Whether ABS Protein Pancakes' mixes will make a comeback on the company's website remains to be seen, but judging by its founder's current activities, that seems unlikely. Drummonds has pivoted since "Shark Tank," and runs two other businesses at the moment. The first of the two — ABS fitlife — launched in 2017, and is a digital library of workout videos which Drummonds describes as the "Netflix of fitness" (via Starter Story). She also launched PR Fuel in 2024 — a company that formulates all-in-one nutrition supplements for high-performance functional athletes. That's a far way to have come from store-bought pancake mixes!