Here's What Happened To Must Love After Shark Tank

College best friends Hannah Hong and Mollie Cha were ice cream lovers who faced a major issue: lactose intolerance. One day, when the pair were craving something sweet, Cha had the idea to grab almond milk, vanilla, and pureed bananas to create an ice cream she and Hong were able to enjoy. Immediately, Hong was impressed by Cha's creation, even saying during a podcast that it "blew [her] socks off." After many attempts to perfect the formula, Must Love was born, but it wasn't easy. As they explained to VoyageLA, "We started pulling double shifts, expanding staff, and then we would do a midnight shift finishing pallets. It was completely unsustainable from a mental and physical energy perspective."

But all that work had the potential for a real payoff. This new dessert wasn't just perfect for those with dairy allergies. It was also vegan and made entirely of natural ingredients. The market was there, as the two quickly realized after landing their products in various supermarkets, including Whole Foods. Must Love also grabbed the attention of numerous publications.

Over time, Cha and Hong perfected several flavors and products, including sprinkles. But even with relatively good success, Must Love needed a push to keep ahead of the curve. The company decided to do what many up-and-comers have done before it and enlist the help of a Shark.

An unsuccessful dive in the tank

Hannah Hong and Mollie Cha presented Must Love to the Sharks during Season 13. When they stepped into the "Shark Tank," they stated they were looking for $600,000 for 7.5% of their company. In the year alone, the business had $1 million in sales, but the fact was counteracted by another financial issue — Must Love was operating at a loss of $400,000. As more numbers spilled out, it was revealed it took $1.80 to make their ice cream, which sold for $5.99.

Though the Sharks each enjoyed their samples, they were put off by the brand's current financial status. In addition to the huge losses, the founders were in a seed round and attempting to gather funds from other investors at the same $8 million company valuation with which they approached the Sharks. Both Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary backed out quickly as they felt Hong and Cha were asking for too much and underappreciating the Sharks' value. John seemed disappointed and remarked, "To come to us [Sharks] and offer us the same that you're offering the streets ... I mean at least show us the respect of knowing where the value is that we're going to bring."

Mark Cuban and guest Shark Peter Jones went next, as they felt the market was too rough. Lori Greiner was the last to leave. Her other company, Frozen Farmer, was too similar to Must Love. In the end, Must Love left feeling no love.

Must Love marched on despite no deal

Though Must Love didn't receive shark approval, it likely gained a boost in sales after appearing on the show. Unfortunately, it's unknown how big of a boost occurred, but as of July 2023, it's estimated the company has made around $3.7 million. Additionally, "Shark Tank" caused the company to branch out online. According to an interview with Hannah Hong, the company had received no online orders until after appearing on the show, which may have something to do with the fact that it was scrambling to launch a website in the weeks before the episode aired.

Today Must Love offers a variety of desserts, including bars and cookies. In the beginning, its ice cream only came in Banilla (banana vanilla). Now, additional flavors include Dipped Crunchy Peanut Swirl, Cashew Cookie, and Choco Choco Chip. The cookies come in packs of four that cost $28.00. The flavors currently listed are birthday cake and chocolate flavors. Graham cracker cookies are also available for $12.00. Additionally, Must Love offers sprinkles in such varieties as Lucky Stars and Rainbow Magic that sell for $2.50. Both dipped bars and sweet desserts can be purchased at numerous chain stores. Cookies and sprinkles, on the other hand, can be purchased online.

The future seems sweet

Must Love is still in business and selling its products in both U.S. and international markets. Currently, its headquarters is in Los Angeles, California, and it has between two and 10 employees. Though it appears that no future plans for the company have been revealed recently, Hannah Hong and Mollie Cha keep up an online presence via Instagram and blog.

On the brand's blog, the pair shares recipes and tricks on how to get the best use out of their products. Most recently, they posted recipes for pretzel rods, s'mores dip, and toddler treats. Though the blog is seemingly updated more often than the brand's Instagram page, the social media spot is still a good place to see recipes come to life and learn the latest on Must Love.

When it comes to what advice they'd give other up-and-comers hoping to break their way into the business, one of the founders told Plant Based Foods, "I hope it takes you less time and fewer trials, but you have to be prepared for the challenge of moving from your home or commercial kitchen to industrial-level scale."