Here's What Happened To Sap! Maple Drink After Shark Tank

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

As consumer demand for healthier beverage options continues to rise, entrepreneurs across the country have found a lucrative gap in the market that can be filled. Over the years, not only have new businesses offered sugar-free soft drinks and low-calorie fizzy drinks, but some offer drink options that could actually be fairly healthy.

Among these budding entrepreneurs are cousins Nikita Salmon and Chas Smith, who walked into "Shark Tank" in 2018. Their idea? A line of non-alcoholic drinks made from maple and birch sap. Yes, sap, that stuff we boil down to make maple syrup.

With plans to own a share of a rapidly growing industry, Smith and Salmon were hoping for a $600,000 investment from a shark in return for 12% equity. In the end, Robert Herjavec offered them a deal, but his 30% ask was too much for the duo to accept. Because none of the other sharks liked the drinks enough to make offers of their own, Sap! left the tank without a deal.

Sap! Maple didn't get the reaction it was looking for

According to data gathered by Food & Beverage Insider in 2021, 70% of consumers in the U.S. admit to reaching for drinks that claim to be made from natural ingredients. In fact, nearly 75% of those surveyed said that it was extremely important for them that foods and drinks are entirely natural. As such, when Sap! Maple drinks appeared on "Shark Tank" in 2018, it seemed that the good-for-you drink business was one step ahead of the curve. 

At the time, Sap! was making three styles of canned drinks: water, carbonated soda, and sparkling water. Unfortunately, the sharks weren't impressed by the taste of the birch and maple sap sodas. This sentiment seemed to carry into the wider market. For instance, one Amazon reviewer commented that the drink had almost no discernable flavor, let alone any familiar notes of maple. Another Amazon review compared the product to "flat sugar water." These weren't exactly the kind of impressions the brand was trying to make with a flavored, carbonated beverage.

Sap! Maple continues to grow without a shark's backing

While having a shark on the side has turned some small businesses into million-dollar giants, several continue to thrive without a shark's backing. Sap! Maple seems to be one of those. In an interview with the University of Vermont, Chas Smith said that although they walked out without a deal, Sap! saw the classic "Shark Tank Effect" and made over $100,000 in sales within 10 days of the show airing.

Not only did the exposure from appearing on "Shark Tank" put Sap! on the map, but the beverages continue to get generally positive reviews from consumers. After the show aired, one Twitter user wrote, "I understood fully what Sap! was explaining in their presentation. How did the Sharks not understand it? #SharkTank missed out, it's been proven that people will pay more for healthy products." Websites like Taste Of Home have also offered a stamp of approval.

Since then, Sap! Maple has introduced new flavors on its website, including Strawberry Habanero, Cranberry Goji Berry, and Ginger Lemongrass. What's more, Sap! Maple apparently landed a deal with Whole Foods, and that's huge for a health-conscious brand. As of 2022, the company's worth was estimated at $12 million — more than double its $5 million on "Shark Tank" in 2018. Perhaps Sap! Maple has earned a spot on the list of best foods we've seen on "Shark Tank."