What Happened To Banana Loca From Shark Tank?

If you enjoy eating bananas with Nutella, you might be familiar with a certain gadget that allows you to core and fill a banana with hazelnut goodness. This gadget, Banana Loca, appeared on Season 13 of "Shark Tank," and was pitched by Renee Heath and Bechara Jaoudeh.

According to Banana Loca's website, Heath and Jaoudeh came up with the gadget in 2019 after discovering a mutual love for bananas and nut butters. Jaoudeh grew up in Lebanon, and bananas with Nutella on a pita was a snack his mother frequently made him. Together, the pair launched a Kickstarter project in April 2020, where they raised nearly $14,000.

Though the product was doing well on its own, Heath and Jaoudeh brought Banana Loca to "Shark Tank" in late 2021, requesting $250,000 for 25% equity in the company. Mark Cuban and Kevin O'Leary accepted the deal, tacking on a $3 royalty to repay the $250k.

Customers have a few complaints about Banana Loca

Although Banana Loca sold well, a number of customers have found issues with using the gadget. Per Hello Yummy, one problem involves coring the banana with the gadget. They point out that, unless you know to cover the hole at the end of Banana Loca to create suction, you won't have any luck with removing the core from your banana. 

Similarly, many Reddit users complained that Banana Loca was a pain to clean, even with the included brush. Most were in agreement that the gadget was fun for a couple of uses, but then it ended up being tossed in a kitchen drawer. For that very reason, customers haven't been too crazy about the product's price at nearly $30. If you really want to eat a banana every day, it's probably more cost-effective and time-efficient to just slice up a banana with a knife and dip it in Nutella.

Where is Banana Loca today?

Like many other kitchen tools we've seen on "Shark Tank," Banana Loca took off after airing on the show. On TikTok alone, videos involving the gadget have racked up more than 58 million views, with countless people sharing their favorite Banana Loca recipes.

The Banana Loca website also includes recipe ideas, with fillings like honey, marshmallow fluff, pudding, yogurt, caramel, jelly/jam, and, of course, nut butters. However, Banana Loca isn't just for bananas. In an interview with New Jersey Monthly, Renee Heath said her mother uses Banana Loca to fill cucumbers with cottage cheese. She added that others have used Banana Loca for stuffed peppers, churros, cupcake decorating, and even "inside-out hot dogs, putting the mustard and ketchup inside."

Today, a single Banana Loca device costs $28.99, but the company offers a deal of two gadgets for $55. Banana Loca can also be purchased on Amazon. Many customers have found the gadget to be somewhat of a gimmick, but with others claiming it to be great for kids, Banana Loca stands firm at a 3.7-star rating.