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

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The fact that soda contains harmful levels of sugar isn't exactly a shocking piece of information. But it wasn't until recently that soda companies started noticing a shift in trend as consumers decided to do something about it. The market of non-alcoholic beverages in the U.S. is said to be worth 2.09 trillion dollars in 2022 (via PR Newswire). Although soft drinks amount to a huge portion of that, their share is projected to change as concerns over health and government regulations surrounding sugar-filled beverages are moving consumers to look for healthier options. In fact, even big-name brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsico are racing to offer low-cal and low-sugar sodas to please health-concerned fizz drinkers (via Brand Equity).

As the consumer demand for healthier beverage options continues to rise and established soda companies push to make alternatives for their sugary drinks, 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 (via Shark Tank Blog). Their idea? A line of non-alcoholic drinks made from maple and birch sap.

Sap! Maple didn't get the reaction it was hoping 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.

So when entrepreneurial duo Smith and Salmon came to the sharks with Sap! Maple drinks back in 2018, it seemed that their good-for-you drink business was one step ahead of the curve. The cousins came from a family of maple tappers in Vermont and their business was simple; use the maple and birch sap to make a line of plant-based beverages (via Shark Tank Blog).

At the time of their appearance, Sap! Maple was making three styles of canned drinks: Water, carbonated soda, and sparkling water. 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. But the sharks weren't impressed by the taste of the birch and maple sap sodas.

While the sharks all agreed on the potential health benefits of the beverages, Lori Greiner was the only shark sold on its taste. Ultimately, it was Robert Herjavec who offered them a deal but his 30% ask was too much for the duo to accept.

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, there are several others that continue to thrive without a shark's backing. Sap! Maple seems to be one of those. In an interview with the University of Vermont, Smith said that although they walked out without a deal, Sap! saw the classic "Shark Tank Effect" and made over $100,000 in sales just 10 days after the show aired.

Not only did the exposure from appearing on "Shark Tank" put Sap! on the map, but the beverages continue to get stellar reviews from consumers. Viewers were quick to express their enthusiasm with Sap! Maple's idea on Twitter after the show aired, with one user saying: "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." Sap! also has websites like Taste Of Home offering a stamp of approval.

Sap! Maple has introduced new flavors on its website since appearing on "Shark Tank." Aside from its website, Sap! Maple also appears to have an Amazon store and a deal with Whole Foods, per an Instagram update. As of 2022, Geeks Around Globe speculates that Sap! Maple may be worth $12 million — more than double its $5 million on "Shark Tank" in 2018. Perhaps Sap! Maple belongs on the list of best foods we've seen on "Shark Tank."