What Happened To KidsLuv From Shark Tank?

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There's an ongoing debate, even among professionals, about whether fruit juices are beneficial for children. Some, including Dr. Steven Abrams, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Dell Medical School, say juices should be consumed in moderation. On the other hand, Dr. Natalie Muth, pediatrician and registered dietitian at Children's Primary Care Medical Group, tells parents to avoid serving fruit juices to their children to prevent weight gain and tooth decay (via American Academy of Pediatrics). However, it's up to parents to decide whether to serve their children fruit juices. And so, when Ashi Jelinek found that many fruit juices have lots of sugar, she decided to create a better product for her son and other children.

Enter KidsLuv, a product Jelinek says is a "juice alternative," made with Stevia instead of sugar and ingredients like coconut water, natural flavors, and the vitamins and minerals necessary for children's growth and development. Jelinek founded her company in 2016, and by the time she appeared in Season 11, Episode 15 of "Shark Tank," she was selling KidsLuv in 25 stores in California and on Amazon. She headed into the Shark Tank with hopes of a $200,000 investment for 8% equity in her business, as well as some guidance from the Sharks (via Shark Tank Blog).

How did the KidsLuv pitch fare on Shark Tank?

Ashi Jelinek appeared on "Shark Tank" with her son, Phoenix. She gave the Sharks a couple of flavors of her product to taste, which they enjoyed. Yet, when she revealed the numbers, the news wasn't so good. KidsLuv has made about $50,000, but Jelinek has spent about $200,000 in production and legal fees. All five of the Sharks say they are out.

Despite not securing a deal with the Sharks, Jelinek remains passionate about her product, telling Staff Street that the ingredients, including coconut water, one of the best beverages for hydration, appeal to parents. "The health attributes of KidsLuv are the most important part of the process and the most important thing to parents," Jelinek says.

Jelinek has expanded flavor offerings to include Beary Berry; Flying Fla-Mango; Starstruck Coconut; and Peach Me, I'm Orange. Business seemed to be going well — at least for a while. Kona Equity noted that, as of 2021, KidsLuvs' revenue was over $5 million per year.

What's up with KidsLuv now?

Ashi Jelinek says she grew from her experience on "Shark Tank." "Honestly, I learned a lot from the show. I joke around that if I go back to the show, I would probably get a DL because I've been able to prove a lot of them wrong. I have learned to become a more detailed thinker. And now I know the numbers like the back of my hand," Jelinek said pre-2022 (via Staff Street). 

However, as of this writing, it is unclear how KidsLuv is doing. While Shark Tank Blog notes as of January 2023, the product is sold in more than 2,000 stores across the country. Nevertheless, it seems to be out of stock in at least some Walmart stores and Targets, and its online presence is questionable, as KidsLuv is currently unavailable on Amazon. There have been no posts on Facebook or Instagram since the summer of 2022, and the KidsLuv website seems to have been removed. It seems like parents may have to search for other products or return to traditional juice alternatives, at least for now.