What Happened To Wink Frozen Desserts From Shark Tank

Some of the best deals made on "Shark Tank" have featured food businesses that offered imaginative vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free alternatives. From plant-based meats and self-serve nut milk machines to vegetarian jerkies, vegan cinnamon rolls, and gluten-free cookie dough, sharks have a track record of striking deals with food businesses that are healthy or cater to different dietary requirements. Sadly, that was not the case with season seven's Wink Frozen Desserts.

Entrepreneurs Ani Blinova and Gabe Wolff sought a $300,000 investment in return for a 15% stake in their gluten-free and dairy-free frozen dessert business. Their desserts were made using pea protein, stevia, and monk fruit, and packed a mere 100 calories in a pint-sized serving. Though Wink seemed like it had everything it needed to be the next successful "Shark Tank" business, the desserts left much to be desired in terms of taste. The sharks complained of the desserts' disappointing flavor and more importantly, weren't keen on investing in a business that was yet to be profitable three years in the running.

Wink Frozen Desserts was one of those businesses that proved the sharks' judgment right. According to the Shark Tank Blog, the company went out of business and ceased operations in January 2020. While the entrepreneurs got married the year the episode aired, they have since gone their separate ways professionally. Wolff now works as a Managing Partner at Everything Bagel whereas Blinova runs her own weddings and wellness company.

Why did Wink's frozen desserts not work?

Setting foot in the gluten-free, dairy-free, and allergen-free frozen dessert industry isn't an easy feat, especially considering the fact that supermarkets already sell a spectacular selection of plant-based ice creams. Taste, texture, and consistency are all major factors in making or breaking a frozen dessert's future

Blind taste testers at Spoon University, for example, could quickly discern between regular and dairy-free ice creams, the latter falling short in terms of both flavor and texture. This, it turns out, may have been why Wink bit the dust soon after its appearance on "Shark Tank." Sharks slammed the Wink's frozen desserts for their lackluster flavor, and Kevin O'Leary gave the entrepreneurs a brutal verdict: "Soy, nut, lactose, gluten, AND taste free."

Go Dairy Free's review too points out that Wink's flavours were so mild that it was hard for blind taste testers to even guess the flavour of the exact frozen dessert that they were eating. Consistency was another disappointing factor as Wink's frozen desserts were more sorbet-like with an icy texture than the smooth consistency you'd expect from ice cream. With flavors like Cinnamon Bun, Cake Batter, and Iced Latte, Wink Frozen Desserts seemed like a business that would walk out with a deal on "Shark Tank," but it failed to win the sharks over and is no longer in business.